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Matthew Slater

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Matthew Slater

Matt Slater
Slater in the 2011 NFL season.
No. 18 New England Patriots
Position: Special teamer / Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-09-09) September 9, 1985
Place of birth: Orange, California
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school: Anaheim (CA) Servite
College: UCLA
NFL draft: 2008 / Round: 5 / Pick: 153
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL
Career NFL statistics as of Week 8, 2015
Total Tackles: 109
Total Return Yards: 585
Receptions: 1
Receiving Yards: 46
Total Touchdowns: 0
Stats at NFL.com

Matthew Wilson "Matt" Slater (born September 9, 1985) is an American football wide receiver, gunner, and special teams player for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Patriots in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. He played college football at UCLA.

Slater was selected to the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Pro Bowl as a special teamer.

Early years

Slater was born in Baldwin Park, California. He lettered in football for two seasons for coach Larry Toner at Servite High School in Anaheim, California, where he was teammates with Ryan Kalil. He was an All-West selection by Prep Star and a three-star selection by Rivals.com. He was also a two-time All-Serra League selection. As a senior, Slater made 39 receptions for 707 yards and five touchdowns. As a junior, he made 23 catches for 333 yards and two touchdowns.[1][2]

He is the son of former NFL offensive tackle and Hall of Famer Jackie Slater, and Annie Slater. Matt has one brother, David.

Track and field

Slater was also a standout track athlete at high school. He is tied for second at the CIF State meet in the 100 meters, with a time of 10.62 seconds, and fourth in the 200 meters, with a time of 21.39 seconds. His 4 x 100 metres relay team was CIF champion. He was selected 2003 Orange County Register Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year as a senior. He still holds school records in the 100 meters and 200 meters.[3]

College career

Slater attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and majored in political science and history, while playing for the UCLA Bruins football team. As freshman he redshirted due to a turf toe injury. In 2004, as a second-year freshman, Slater appeared in games against Illinois, Arizona and Stanford. As a sophomore in 2005 he was reserve wide receiver. He missed the first three games due to a stress fracture in his left leg. He played in two games but did not make a reception.[4]

In 2006, as a junior, Slater played 13 games, including two (Washington and Arizona) on defense. He excelled on kick coverage, specializing on big hits on kick returners to help minimize kick return yardage. In the year, he made nine tackles, including six solos. As a senior, in 2007, Slater played in 13 games, made 25 tackles. He also returned kicks for the Bruins. He returned 34 kicks for a 29.0-yard average and 3 touchdowns which tied the lead in the nation and set the UCLA record. He also tied the Pac-10 season record, set by Anthony Davis in 1974. His 29.0-yard kickoff return average was first in the Pac-10 and 12th best in the country. He was First-team All-Pac 10 selection as the kick returner. His 986 kickoff return yards were also a new UCLA single-season record.[4][5]

Professional career

2008 NFL Combine

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
5 ft 11 in 195 lb 4.44 s 1.57 s 2.59 s 4.40 s 7.31 s 33 in 10 ft 1 in 11 reps
All values from NFL Combine

New England Patriots

2008 season

Slater was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL Draft by the New England Patriots, who traded up with Tampa Bay before drafting Slater. Matthew's father, Jackie Slater, was pleased with the selection and told the Boston Herald that he got phone calls from "scouts, administrators in the NFL who knew me and my son, and they said, ‘Jackie, this could not be a better fit for your son to start being a pro football player.'"[6] Slater was one of two players selected in the 2008 Draft (the other being Chris Long), and the sixth in the history of the NFL Draft, who is a son of a Hall of Fame member. Slater played in 14 games in his rookie 2008 season, returning 11 kickoffs for 155 yards and recording 12 tackles on special teams.

2009–2010 seasons

In 2009, Slater was active for 14 games for the Patriots, recording six tackles on special teams, while recording one rush for six yards as a wide receiver. He also returned 11 kickoffs for 269 yards, a 24.5 average. He had a career-high 35-yard kickoff return in the regular-season finale at Houston. Slater also played in a reserve role at wide receiver and on special teams coverage units in the postseason game vs. the Baltimore Ravens. In that game, he had two kickoff returns for 46 yards and one special teams tackle. In 2010, Slater did not record any offensive or defensive statistics, and did not return any kicks or punts, but led the team with 21 special teams tackles in 15 games played.[7]

2011 season

In the 2011 season, Matthew was voted to be the Special Teams Captain by his teammates.[8][9]

Slater created a niche as a special teams force, leading the Patriots with 17 regular season special teams tackles in 2011; however, he had a presence in all three phases throughout the 2011 season. In the season opener against the Miami Dolphins, Slater made the Patriots’ first big play of the season catching a 46-yard reception from Tom Brady, and set the team up for the Patriots’ first touchdown of the season.[10] Slater returned 4 kickoffs for 68 yards (average of 17.0 yards per return).[11] He significantly contributed in the defensive backfield, and started in three games as safety. In his defensive start against the Indianapolis Colts, he forced a fumble and finished the game with a team high six tackles.[12] In the post season AFC Divisional Playoff game, Slater had 1 special team tackle.

Slater was selected for the 2012 Pro Bowl and the 2011 Pro Football Writers Association (PFW/PFWA) All-Pro teams including All-NFL and All-AFC as a special teamer.[13][14][15][16] The Slaters are one of five active father-son families selected to at least one Pro Bowl apiece. The others are Gill and Jairus Byrd; Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning; Clay and Clay Matthews; and Kellen and Kellen Winslow.[17]

2012 season

Slater, who became a free agent after the 2011 season, signed a three-year contract with the Patriots in 2012.[18] He was again voted as Special Teams Captain and voted to be the team's player representative to the NFL Players Association.[19][20] He was named to the Pro Bowl and the 2012 PFW/PFWA All-Pro for the lone AFC special teamer position for the second straight season.[21][22]

2013 season

In his 6th consecutive season with the Patriots, Matthew Slater continued to be a reliable captain and inspirational leader on and off the field.[23] He had 14 regular season special-teams tackles, which was the second highest on the team despite missing four games early in the season due to injury. His on field performance led to a third straight Pro Bowl nod.

2014 season

On November 26, 2014, it was reported that Slater signed a 2-year contract extension to remain with the Patriots through 2016.[24] Slater, again, was voted All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl at the special teams position. It was his 4th straight selection to the Pro Bowl, and his 3rd All-Pro nod. His father is a 7x Pro-Bowler, and with 11 Pro Bowl nods between them, the Slaters are the second most nominated family in the NFL (only Archie, Eli, and Peyton Manning have more Pro Bowl nominations as a family).[25][26] Slater earned a Super Bowl ring as the Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX.

Community service

In 2013, Slater was awarded the New England Patriots 11th [27]

Matthew is also the [28] [29]

Personal

Slater is a vocal Christian athlete, and often makes mention of his faith when addressing the media.[30][31]

Six days after winning the Super Bowl, Slater married his long-time girlfriend, physician Shahrzad Ehdaivand, on February 7, 2015. [32]

See also

References

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External links

  • New England Patriots bio
  • UCLA Bruins bio
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