By Tom Wood
By this time next week, Thursday night at the earliest and Saturday afternoon at the very latest, Jordan Matthews will have a job lined up.
Fitz Lassing already has one.
Two Vanderbilt graduates with economic majors, football teammates, young men with shared goals, faith and values, they are preparing to leave the relatively sheltered campus life on West End and head for the fast lane.
They’re just taking different paths.
Road trip to New York
Jordan, a star wide receiver, is one of 30 players invited to New York for the NFL Draft, an indication he could be selected in the first round of pro football’s annual talent search.
That first round is on Thursday night, but many of the mock drafts suggest Matthews won’t be selected until Friday in the second or third rounds. Wherever he lands in whatever round, he will soon be one of the latest members of the NFL’s Instant Millionaires Club.
“My view of the game has never been an outlet to make sure I am financially stable,” says Matthews, the most prolific pass-catcher in SEC football history. “It’s always been something I like to do for fun.
“And it just happens to be a sport where I can generate some revenue.’’
Windy City adventurer
Lassing, an oft-injured Commodores fullback and Montgomery Bell Academy product, will leave Nashville sometime in July for a month of training, then move to Chicago for a position with Bank of America.
“The first time I went up there [to Chicago] was in February, and then I actually went to Tampa to interview,” says Lassing, whose given name is John.
“And it was like 77 degrees and cloudy. And the next day, I was on a plane to Chicago, and it was 2 degrees. Talk about culture shock.”
Culture shock is a term both will likely have to come to grips with over the next few months.
One had enough athletic talent to take his game to the next level – Matthews finished his elite career as the SEC’s all-time leader with 262 career receptions and 3,759 receiving yards while hauling in 24 touchdown catches.
Lassing had a career total of 12 catches for 101 yards and three TDs.
Following their senior season, Matthews earned first-team All-America honors from USA Today and Athlon, and was a consensus All-SEC first-team wide receiver.
Lassing was selected to the SEC Academic Honor Roll, was Vandy’s nominee for SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year and was a National Scholar Athlete Semifinalist.
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