A former offensive player for the University of New Mexico football team, Terance Mathis, was selected for the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 on Monday, January 9. He will be the second Lobo to be bestowed with the honor alongside linebacker Brian Urlacher, class of 2017, according to a press release from UNM Athletics.
Mathis will be officially inducted on Tuesday, Dec. 5 at the NFF Annual Awards Dinner in Las Vegas. Mathis joins a class which also consists of players like Reggie Bush and Tim Tebow: Bush led the nation in all-purpose yardage in 2005, according to Fox Sports, and Tebow won the Heisman Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding college football player in any given season, according to the ESPN Press Room.
“The 18 First Team All-America players and four standout coaches in the 2023 class were selected from the national ballot of 80 players and nine coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision and 96 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks,” according to the NFF’s website.
Mathis, who was “perhaps the greatest offensive player in the history of Lobo Football” is the only player in UNM’s history to have 250 receptions, 4,000 receiving yards and 6,000 all-purpose yards during his career with the Lobos, according to the UNM Athletics press release. He holds school records with 263 career receptions, 4,254 career receiving yards, 1,315 single-season receiving yards, 36 career touchdown receptions, 13 single-season touchdown receptions and 3 touchdown receptions in a game, according to the press release.
“It’s impossible to (at) look the Lobo record book and not find Mathis’ name dotting the various lists. He is second, third and seventh on the single-game receptions list (16 vs. Utah, 14 vs. Arkansas and 12 vs. San Diego State); he is second, third, fourth, eighth, ninth and 10th on the single-game yardage list; second and sixth on the single-season receptions list; first and fourth on the single-season receiving yards list; first, third and eighth on the single-season touchdown receptions list; and first and third in single-season all-purpose yardage. His three kickoff returns for touchdowns in 1989 has been tied, but not broken, at UNM,” according to the press release.
Also serving as UNM’s first consensus All-America selection in 1987, Mathis set the school’s single-season record for all-purpose yardage with 2,138 that season, according to the press release. The All-American designation is bestowed upon the most outstanding amateur players from any given season, according to the American Football Database.
Following his career with the Lobos, Mathis would be drafted by the New York Jets in 1990 where he played for four years. Mathis’ most successful season in the NFL came in 1994 with his first season playing for the Atlanta Falcons: Mathis would be a Pro Bowl selection and set a club record of 111 catches in a season, according to the press release. Mathis would retire from the NFL in 2004 following a brief run with the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Savannah State University Athletics.
John Scott is the editor-in-chief at the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JohnSnott