The Seattle Seahawks' Chris Matthews picked a fine time to make a name for himself in the NFL.
The former University of Kentucky wide receiver played in only three games — with no catches — during the regular season.
Yet going into the fourth quarter of Sunday's Super Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., the little-known player had a shot at being the game's MVP.
He had four catches, including an 11-yard touchdown that helped the Seahawks even the score with the New England Patriots at 14-all going into halftime.
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He was up to 109 yards — the first Seahawks players to top 100 yards receiving in a Super Bowl — when the third quarter wrapped up with Seattle ahead 24-14.
"I've always been one of the key guys in high school, college, the CFL," Matthews said in a story posted in Seahawks.com. "So it wasn't anything new to me."
But MVP honors were not to be for Matthews or any of his teammates. New England rallied to win 28-24.
"We pride ourselves on finishing and we definitely didn't finish today," Matthews told Seahawks.com. "It happens. It happens to the best of us. We just have to keep on pushing forward and work out hard this offseason and come back next year."
Fellow Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse was proud of his teammate. He said he had "the most confidence" that Matthews could contribute on football's biggest stage.
"I knew he was able to make those types of plays," Kearse said. "We spend time together just trying to figure things out, trying to get him going, and he was able to come up huge for us."
Matthews, undrafted out of Kentucky, has come a long way in a short time.
He told Sports Illustrated that before the season, he almost skipped a tryout with the Seahawks because he wasn't sure he would be off work in time to make the flight to Seattle. He was doing double duty at Foot Locker and as a security guard at the time.
But he did go to the tryout -- and he earned a spot on the team's practice squad.
Once he made it onto the active roster, he made his mark on special teams. And he reaped the rewards of that hard work when he recovered a key onside kick to help the Seahawks defeat the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game.
He came back two weeks later — in the Super Bowl — and along with star running back Marshawn Lynch was one of the main weapons at quarterback Russell Wilson's disposal while the team built its lead.
■ Matthews had stellar numbers at UK in two seasons. The junior college transfer had 32 catches for 354 yards and three touchdowns as a junior in 2009.
He found the end zone nine times as a senior in 2010, when he had 61 catches for 925 yards.
■ ESPN tweeted that Matthews' last 100-yard receiving game was Oct. 16, 2010, while at UK.
■ Matthews is a cousin of late NFL Hall of Famer Reggie White.