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Former Packers LB Clay Matthews, WR Christian Watson earn Senior Bowl honors

Matthews will be part of five-player Hall of Fame class in June

Former Packers LB Clay Matthews, WR Christian Watson
Former Packers LB Clay Matthews, WR Christian Watson

GREEN BAY – Former Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has been announced as one of five inductees into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame's Class of 2023, while receiver Christian Watson has been named 2022 co-offensive rookie of the year.

Joining Matthews is Philadelphia offensive tackle Lane Johnson, former Tennessee running back Chris Johnson, former Eagles running back Brian Westbrook, and former Baltimore guard Marshal Yanda. The recipients will be honored in the annual induction ceremony emceed by NFL Network host Rhett Lewis in Point Clear, Alabama on Sunday, June 25, 2023.

A first-round pick (26th overall) out of USC in 2009, Matthews earned six Pro Bowl selections during his 10 seasons with the Packers. His 83½ sacks are the most in franchise history since it became an official statistic in 1982.

"It was a tremendous honor to be recognized as one of the best in college football but I looked forward more to the opportunity to compete against the nation's best and showcase my skills to the many NFL owners, general managers, coaches, and scouts," said Matthews in a statement. "I feel like the opportunities that were afforded me through the Senior Bowl helped me seamlessly transition into the NFL. I am truly honored to go into the Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, especially in a class with so many members that I competed against over the years."

The Packers traded up in the second round to draft Watson 34th overall last April. As a rookie, he caught 41 passes for 611 yards and a team-high seven touchdowns. Watson's two TD receptions of 50-plus yards (63, 58) were the most by a Green Bay rookie since Howton (six) in 1952. The 6-foot-4, 208-pound receiver is only the third player in franchise history to post seven-plus receiving TDs and multiple rushing TDs in a season, joining Don Hutson (1941) and Johnny Blood (1931).

"I remain grateful for the opportunity to have played in the Reese's Senior Bowl," Watson said in a statement. "Everything about the experience was top-shelf. As an FCS player, participating against the top talent in the country while in Mobile was central to me eventually being drafted 34th overall. Needless to say, the Senior Bowl Co-Offensive Rookie of the Year award is a true honor."

The Senior Bowl Hall of Fame, established in 1988, includes many players who are also members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

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