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April 30, 2011

University of South Carolina defensive end Cliff Matthews was selected by the Atlanta Falcons with the 27th pick in the seventh round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the 230th overall selection.

Matthews, a 6-4, 258-pounder from Cheraw, S.C., was a two-time team captain for the Gamecocks. He was named second team All-SEC by the league’s coaches following both his junior and senior seasons. As a senior, he recorded 44 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Matthews finished his Gamecock career ranked second in games played (51) and set the school record for most starts (47). He also finished his career with 15.5 sacks, tying Cecil Caldwell for fourth on the school’s all-time list and logged 26.0 tackles for loss, ranking ninth on Carolina’s all-time list.

Matthews joins Chris Culliver, who was selected Friday in the third round by the San Francisco 49ers, as the two Gamecocks taken in the 2011 NFL Draft.