Matthew Stafford College Career: Rams’ Super Bowl Champion QB Was a Star at Georgia

Matthew Stafford is a storied NFL quarterback with a bevy of individual accolades. Yet, his career began and legend started before the NFL, with Georgia.

Matthew Stafford is a storied NFL quarterback with 15 seasons, two Pro Bowls, and a Super Bowl ring under his belt. Yet at the college level, he was just as prestigious as a player. What kind of production did Stafford achieve in college, and how has it led him here?

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Matthew Stafford College Career: Legend of Georgia Bulldogs Star Lives On

As the Los Angeles Rams play the Detroit Lions in the 2023 NFC Playoffs, Matthew Stafford’s career has come full circle. That progression has caused many to look back to Stafford’s Georgia career, where he became the Lions’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

Before he played for the Rams and the Lions, Stafford played for the Georgia Bulldogs. He was a consensus five-star recruit in the 2006 class, and the top quarterback talent in the nation, after leading Highland Park High School to a 4A Division I State Championship.

After joining the Bulldogs, Stafford initially served as the team’s backup but was thrust into action as a true freshman when starting QB Joe Tereshinksi III got injured.

Although Stafford was inconsistent across the year, his potential was clear, and he carried the starting job into 2007.

In 2007, Stafford helped lead the Bulldogs to an 11-2 record while throwing for 2,523 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions.

After engineering an overtime win against Alabama and finishing ranked second in the AP poll, Georgia was a championship favorite heading into 2008.

The Bulldogs never met those championship aspirations as a team, but Stafford had his best season yet in 2008, passing for 3,549 yards, 25 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while averaging nine yards per attempt — earning first-team All-American and second-team All-SEC honors.

After his career-best campaign, Stafford declared for the 2008 NFL Draft, and was deemed the likely No. 1 overall pick. And sure enough, when the 2008 NFL Draft came around, the Lions, who possessed the first pick, selected him at the top of the board to be their franchise QB.

Matthew Stafford Goes From Georgia Star to NFL Legend

You’d be hard pressed to find an avid football fan who doesn’t know Matthew Stafford’s name. Stafford is one of the most senior starting quarterbacks in the NFL, now in his 15th season overall and his third season with the Los Angeles Rams.

Not only is Stafford heavily tenured, but he’s also leveraged his experience into vast individual production, and a share of team success, having won Super Bowl LVI with the Rams.

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Across his career, Stafford has completed 4,834 of 7,649 pass attempts for 56,047 yards, 357 touchdowns, and 180 interceptions. He’s 98-107-1 overall in 206 games played, but has experienced the height of his success in recent years.

Before Patrick Mahomes broke his record, Stafford was the fastest QB in NFL history to reach 20,000 yards, having done so in just 71 games. He’s currently tied with Drew Brees as the fastest QB in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards, achieving that feat in 183 games.

Historically, Stafford stacks up well with the best to ever play the game. Stafford is 11th all-time in the NFL in career passing yards, and needs less than 1,000 yards to surpass Eli Manning and break into the top 10 in 2024.

Stafford is also 11th all-time in career passing touchdowns. If he were to match his 24-TD 2023 campaign in 2024, he’d tie Matt Ryan for the ninth spot.

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Simply put, you can’t tell the story of the NFL without Stafford. He was one of the league’s most respected passers in Detroit on account of his toughness and arm talent, and in Los Angeles, he’s blossomed into a league winner. And it all started in Georgia.

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