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The Idaho Press is counting down the 25 most important players to the 2021 Boise State football team. Next up is No. 10: defensive tackle Scott Matlock.

Nobody on the Boise State football team has a more inspirational story than Scott Matlock.

As detailed previously in the Idaho Press, Matlock lost both his parents as a youngster – his dad to cancer and his mom to heart disease – and lived with a foster family while going to Homedale High School.

He earned a scholarship offer to his dream school Boise State and has quickly made an impact – all while being motivated by the heartbreak and tragedy he’s had to overcome.

“It’s all about having a why, and that’s something has elevated me to where I am,” Matlock said recently. “For me it’s all about representing my family name. There’s not a lot of Matlocks left out there so I’m trying to make this name well known and represent it the right way.”

Just earning the scholarship and being part of his hometown team would have been a cool enough story. Matlock seems destined to make it way better.

The 6-foot-4, 296-pound defensive tackle has become a leader and one of the best players on Boise State’s defense in a fairly short amount of time. Matlock started all seven games last year as a redshirt sophomore and was tied for third on the team with both 4.5 tackles-for-loss and 2.0 sacks while earning an All-Mountain West Honorable Mention selection.

He’s appeared in 21 games the past three seasons but still theoretically has three years left to play with the Broncos due to the NCAA rule not counting eligibility in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Boise State’s defensive line should be a strength in 2021 and the man in the middle will be a big reason why.

This article originally ran on idahopress.com.

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