Matt Wilhelm

American football player (born 1981)
American football player
Matt Wilhelm
refer to caption
Wilhelm at 49ers training camp in August 2010
No. 56, 57, 50
Personal information
Born: (1981-02-02) February 2, 1981 (age 41)
Oberlin, Ohio
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:245 lb (111 kg)
Career information
High school:Elyria (OH) Catholic
College:Ohio State
NFL Draft:2003 / Round: 4 / Pick: 112
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Total tackles:243
Forced fumbles:1
Fumble recoveries:1
Player stats at · PFR

Matthew Wilhelm (born February 2, 1981) is a former American college and professional football player and a current radio/TV football analyst.

He was a linebacker in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the early 2000s. He played college football for Ohio State University, and earned All-American honors. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, also played for the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers of the NFL, and was a member of the Packers' Super Bowl XLV championship team that beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is currently a football analyst/show host for WKNR AM 850 and WEWS-TV 5 in Cleveland.

Early years

Wilhelm was born in Oberlin, Ohio, and grew up in Lorain, Ohio. He attended Elyria Catholic High School in Elyria, Ohio. He amassed 100 tackles, 26 for loss, and 11 sacks as a senior, and was named a first-team All-Ohio selection. He also played tight end and running back.[1] In 2002, his high school retired his No. 34 jersey.

College career

Wilhelm attended Ohio State University, and played for coach John Cooper and coach Jim Tressel's Ohio State Buckeyes football teams from 1999 to 2002. Wilhelm was moved to middle linebacker before his sophomore season and started every game. In his first game as a starter against Fresno State, Wilhelm intercepted a David Carr pass and ran it 25 yards for a touchdown.[2] The following year, he earned the Randy Gradishar Award as the team's top linebacker and made all of the defensive calls. As a senior in 2002, Wilhelm was recognized as a consensus first-team All-American,[3] and helped his team win a BCS National Championship with a team-leading 11 tackles in a 31–24 Fiesta Bowl victory over the Miami Hurricanes. Wilhelm ended the year with a career-high 121 tackles and ended his career with the 6th most career tackles for loss for Ohio State all-time.[4]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash Vertical jump Broad jump Wonderlic
6 ft 4 in
(1.93 m)
245 lb
(111 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
1014 4.79 s 35 in
(0.89 m)
9 ft 5 in
(2.87 m)
Wonderlic and arm and hand spans were taken at the NFL Scouting Combine; all other measurables were taken at Pro Day.[5]

San Diego Chargers

Wilhelm was drafted by the San Diego Chargers in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. He spent the first four years of his career mostly on special teams and as a backup. In 2007, he became a full-time starter after Donnie Edwards signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He was released by the Chargers on July 24, 2009.

Philadelphia Eagles

Wilhelm was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles on August 4, 2009 after starting middle linebacker Stewart Bradley suffered a season-ending knee injury. He was waived on September 5, 2009.

San Francisco 49ers

Wilhelm was signed by the San Francisco 49ers on October 19, 2009 after reserve linebacker Jeff Ulbrich was placed on injured reserve. He was re-signed to a one-year contract on March 4, 2010. He was cut on September 3, 2010.

Green Bay Packers

Wilhelm was signed by the Green Bay Packers on October 26, 2010.


After winning Super Bowl XLV as a member of the Packers, Wilhelm decided to retire from the NFL. In 2013, he was hired by Cleveland radio station WKNR AM 850 to be a football analyst, co-host of Cleveland Browns Daily, and serve as a co-host for the station's Ohio State Buckeyes pregame show. He also appears on Cleveland ABC affiliate WEWS-TV 5 as a Buckeyes and Browns analyst.[6][7]

In 2016, Wilhelm's hometown paper, The Morning Journal, changed the name of its annual high school football Player of the Year award to The Matt Wilhelm Award in recognition of Wilhelm's lifetime of football achievements.[8]

In 2017, Wilhelm was announced as a member of the 2017 Lorain Sports Hall of Fame class.[9]

Awards and honors

High school

  • 1998 All-Ohio First-team


  • 2002 All-Big Ten First-team
  • 2002 Consensus All-American
  • 2002 National Championship (as a member of the Ohio State Buckeyes)



  1. ^ #1 in College Sports Archived 2007-02-17 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ NCAA Football - Fresno State vs. Ohio State
  3. ^ 2011 NCAA Football Records Book, Award Winners, National Collegiate Athletic Association, Indianapolis, Indiana, p. 11 (2011). Retrieved June 23, 2012.
  4. ^ - Team » Roster » #57 Matt Wilhelm | LB Archived 2007-06-08 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "Matt Wilhelm prospect profile". NFL. Archived from the original on June 18, 2003.
  6. ^ Wilhelm's post playing career - Lake County News Herald
  7. ^ Wilhelm on WEWS -
  8. ^ Behm, Jon. "High school football: Introducing the Matt Wilhelm award". Retrieved 3 May 2017.
  9. ^ "Lorain Sports Hall of Fame announces 2017 class". Retrieved 3 May 2017.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Matt Wilhelm.
  • Green Bay Packers bio
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2002 Ohio State Buckeyes football—consensus national champions
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Special teams
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San Diego Chargers 2003 NFL draft selections
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Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV champions