Quarterback Matthew Stafford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, won his first-ever games in the NFL Playoffs in the 2021 NFL season after joining the Los Angeles Rams following 12 seasons with the Detroit Lions. Before hearing his name called first in the NFL draft, Stafford played in the SEC, where he started at Georgia for three seasons.
Here’s everything you need to know about Stafford’s college career.
The vitals on Matthew Stafford
Years active: 2006-08
Here are Matthew Stafford’s career stats in college. Scroll to the right to view the complete stats.
Where did Matthew Stafford go to college?
Stafford attended the University of Georgia, which he chose over reported scholarship offers from the likes of Florida State, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas, according to 247Sports.
What kind of prospect was Matthew Stafford in high school?
Stafford was one of the best high school football players in the country when he played for Highland Park in Dallas. He was ranked as the No. 6 prospect and no. 1 quarterback in the 2006 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
What was Matthew Stafford’s record in college?
In Stafford’s three seasons at Georgia, the Bulldogs went 30-9, including bowl game victories in the 2006 Chick-fil-A Bowl, 2008 Sugar Bowl and the 2009 Capital One Bowl. Georgia went 11-2 in the 2007 season, which was the ‘Dawgs best season during Stafford’s time there.
In the SEC, Georgia finished finished 4-4 in the SEC East in 2006, tied for the crown in 2007 at 6-2 and they finished in second in 2008 at 6-2.
Statistical achievements by Matthew Stafford
Here are some of the statistical achievements set by Stafford:
- T-1st in Georgia history in touchdown passes in a game: Five touchdowns (vs. Georgia Tech, 2008)
- 2nd in Georgia history in total offense in a season: 3,499 yards (2008)
- 3rd in Georgia history in passing yards in a season: 3,459 yards (2008)
- 4th in Georgia history in average yards per attempt in a season: 9.03 yards/attempt (2008)
- 5th in Georgia history in career completions: 564 completions
- 5th in Georgia history in career passing yards: 7,731 yards
- 5th in Georgia history in career completion percentage: 57.14%
- 5th in Georgia history in passing touchdowns in a season: 25 touchdowns (2008)
- 5th in Georgia history in career passing touchdowns: 51 touchdowns
- 6th in Georgia history in completions in a season: 235 completions (2008)
- 10th in Georgia history in completion percentage in a season: 61.36% (2008)
- T-13th in Georgia history in passing yards in a game: 407 yards (vs. Georgia Tech, 2008)
CHAMPS: Complete national championship history for the FBS
What were some of Matthew Stafford’s best games in college?
Here are some of Stafford’s best performances of his college career:
Georgia 35, Oklahoma State 14 | Sept 1, 2007
After a freshman season in which Stafford threw 13 interceptions compared to 10 total touchdowns, Stafford opened his sophomore campaign with an 18-for-24 passing performance for 234 yards and two touchdowns. In his 14th career game, it was his first time throwing multiple touchdowns but no interceptions in a game. After Georgia took a 21-14 lead into halftime, the Bulldogs’ defense shut out the Cowboys in the second half and he led a pair of second-half scoring drives, each of which ended in a passing touchdown.
Georgia 42, Florida 30 | october 27, 2007
In a rivalry game against reigning national champion Florida in a top 25 matchup, Stafford threw three touchdowns in a game for the first time in his college career. While attempting just 18 passes, Stafford completed more than 60 percent of them for 217 yards. Stafford threw touchdown passes of 84 yards to Mohamed Massaquoi and 53 yards to Mikey Henderson.
Georgia 27, Arizona State 10 | Sept 20, 2008
During Stafford’s junior season, the Bulldogs got off to a 4-0 start with road wins over South Carolina and Arizona State. In the latter, Georgia scored 21 points in the second quarter and Stafford threw for a then-career-high 285 yards on 16-of-28 passing. His lone touchdown pass was a 14-yard strike to AJ Green just before halftime.
Georgia Tech 45, Georgia 42 | Nov 29, 2008
In a home loss to rival Georgia Tech, Stafford had a career day in a shootout, completing 24 of 39 passes for 407 yards (better than his previous career-high of 376) and five passing touchdowns (he had never thrown more than three in a game before). In the second quarter, Stafford threw three touchdown passes to Mohamed Massaquoi — touchdown receptions of 10, 49 and 3 yards.
Stafford’s final touchdown pass went to AJ Green with 4:04 remaining in the game and it cut Georgia Tech’s lead to 45-42, but Georgia was unable to complete the comeback.
What awards did Matthew Stafford win in college?
- 2009 Capital One Bowl MVP
- 2008 Pro Football Weekly All-American
- 2008 second-team All-SEC
- 2008 Vince Dooley MVP Award recipient
- 2006 Chick Fil A Bowl MVP
- 2006 All-SEC Freshman Team
- Two-time SEC Freshman of the Week
What did people say about Matthew Stafford?
Georgia coach Mark Dir, on Stafford being the team’s No. 3 quarterback in late August of his freshman season (from The Atlanta Constitution): “He realizes this thing is not a sprint by any means. This guy’s got his whole career ahead of him. He knows this is just a starting point of the season “We don’t know what the future holds. All he’s got to do is keep repping, keep preparing and keep getting better on a daily basis… When he does things right, it’s exciting to watch. Quite frankly, of all the.” guys, the more he learns, the better he’s going to be.”
Georgia running back Danny Ware, after Stafford’s first touchdown of his career (from The Atlanta Constitution): “It was magic. That was the magic moment. He gets out there and makes those.”
Former Georgia coach Vince Dooley, through Stafford’s first three games of his career (from The Atlanta Constitution): “Only Mike Cavan, that I can remember, has the poise that this one has. And Mike was a sophomore because we didn’t play freshmen then. The way he went in at the South Carolina game and this game, it is like he is right at home. It is like he has been out there a long time. That is remarkable to me.”
Georgia wide receiver Demiko Goodman, after a 60-yard incompletion against UAB (from The Atlanta Constitution): “Stafford has got an arm on him, and I was trying my best to get it.”
Georgia wide receiver AJ Bryant, on the expectations placed on Stafford (from The Atlanta Constitution): “It’s not fair, but that is how it is. That is the world for you. He hadn’t played a down but they expect him to do all these things. That is how it is. But he will live up to them.”
Georgia running back Thomas Brown (from The Atlanta Constitution): “His ability to stay so calm and poised is kind of amazing. He’s a freshman right out of high school and he is not rattled by anything. It relaxes you when your quarterback comes in there and he is calm . It allows you to go out there and have more fun.”
Georgia quarterbacks coach Mike Bobo, on Stafford’s performance in the third game of his career in a win over UAB (from The Atlanta Constitution): “He felt comfortable. A big thing was he got reps all week with the No. 1 offense. There was not a play or “Scenario that he didn’t practice. Overall, he did a nice job of managing the game and taking care of the football. There is going to be pressure on the quarterback, whether it is throwing it away or stepping up getting out of the pocket.” . He did that, for the most part, all day — except for the one he got hit in the mouth on because he missed the blitz.”
Stafford’s father, John, on his son’s first career start against UAB (from The Atlanta Constitution): “It was tremendous. I saw him and was able to give him five. We weren’t able to speak to each other. But we saw each other. It was just great to be a part of it. This was my first time back since 1972. It has changed just a bit.”
Bobo, after the first game of sophomore season (from The Atlanta Constitution): “I am very comfortable. He is a very sharp kid, very knowledgeable kid. He is not a kid that needs a lot of reps or you have got to show him on the board for him to get it. You can really verbalize it to him and he understands what you are talking about, which is good, especially during the game when you are making adjustments. Some guys, they have got to see it on the film, then they got to do it on the field and they have got to mess up a play before they can get it. He understands the way I communicate now.”
dir, on Stafford’s sophomore season, prior to his junior season (from The Daily Item): “There were some things that needed to be done to manage (last year’s) situation, and one of them wasn’t dropping back and patting the ball three times and throwing to whoever was open. Now, hopefully, we’re mature enough all the way around where I think we will see a more productive year as numbers go. There is no doubt in my mind that he’s an extremely talented guy.”
Georgia wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, on Stafford entering his junior season (from The Daily Item): “There’s really not even a wow factor. It’s expected now. When he does things, it’s not out of the norm.”
ESPN analyst Jesse Palmer on Georgia and Stafford, entering his junior season (from The Daily Item): “I think one of the reasons why a lot of people think they are the best team in the country right now is Matthew Stafford. It’s imperative he has a big year this year.”
Georgia recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner, on Georgia enrolling wide receiver AJ Green (from The Atlanta Constitution): “It’s a coup to get a guy with that kind of talent from anywhere. He’s an impact guy that can change a game. Those kinds of guys don’t come around Often. Those guys are program makers — a Knowshon Moreno, an AJ Green, a Matthew Stafford. Anytime, anywhere you can get those types of guys, that’s major.”
dir, on how Stafford’s commitment to Georgia helped the Bulldogs receive commitments from other talented players (from The Atlanta Constitution): “Well, with a Matthew Stafford, who most considered the top, or at least one of the top two or three, quarterbacks, when you get one of those guys committed to you early, it does tend to attract other fine players.”
dir, after Georgia lost at home to Georgia Tech in his final regular-season game (from The Atlanta Constitution): “Matthew’s one heck of a football player. He played well.”
Bobo, after Georgia’s win in the 2009 Capital One Bowl (from The Atlanta Constitution): “I just think he came out trying to be too perfect. He just needed to settle down and just try to get first downs, and that’s what he did in the second half. I’m real proud of the way we played in the second half.”