By Mick Holien
The newest and sole inductee to the Grizzly Sports Hall of Fame came to the University small in stature but after his stellar career occupied the tallest position on the career receiving charts.
Matt Wells, 5-7, 160, already is in the Hall as a member of the ’95 championship team, showed early on the kind of receiver he would be in the passing offense of Don Read catching 31 balls as a true freshman for 373 yards while converting 25 of 29 PATs on his way to sharing Frosh of the Year with Yohanse Manzanarez.
A first team All Academic with a 3.68 GPA, the Ashland, Ore., product was a 10-letter winner in high school, and corralled a remarkable 123 catches for almost 2,488 yards and 31 scores while Ashland High ran the table through14 games to claim the state title.
D Twice all-conference, Wells captained the football and basketball team while being named MV P his senior season as it could be said the Griz started their championship run with a seventh straight winning season, but this time only at 6-5.
By the end of his sophomore campaign Wells closed in on the 1000 yard career mark and stood 15th on the all- standard. He followed that with 725 yards as a junior, tenth most in a Griz season, and advanced to sixth on the career list behind Gurnsey, Shalon Baker, Bill Cockhill, Mike Travathan and Brian Salonen.
A multi-All American as a senior, Matt moved to the top of the receiving standard eclipsing the 1000-yard receiving mark and catching 61 balls for 10 scores.
Grizzly teams were 22-6 in league and 40-12 overall in Wells’ stupendous career and if you include playoff games he caught an amazing 248 balls for 3,342 yards but he also made the most of the educational opportunity by being named an Academic All American three times and was a four-time league choice.
A Divisional vice president for AIG, a financial and insurance corporation, Wells now lives near Kansas City, ironic because his first ever Griz action was catching 12 balls against K State.
He will officially be inducted into the Hall later this fall.