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Clay Matthews and Tamba Hali are the two of the most under-rated players in the NFL. Rarely do you hear ordinary people put these two in the best linebacker conversation.
Clay Matthews is a fighter as he did not even get a scholarship to go to any Division 1 schools. In fact, he did not even start on his own high school football team until his senior year.
He decided to become a walk-on for USC. Once at USC his career took off. He was extremely successful as an outside linebacker and was drafted by Green Bay in the first round.
Many people looked down on this pick, but the Matthews failed to disappoint and now is a two time Pro-Bowler and an All-Pro.
The story of Tamba Hali is truly inspirational. Like Matthews he did not become successful in football till later in his career. Hali was born in Liberia and decided to escape the war-torn country at age ten to live with his father in the United States.
He has been motivated to become an NFL player because of his desire to reunite with his mom that he has not seen in 12 years.
Also like Matthews, he did not have much pre-draft hype surrounding him. He was selected by the Chiefs with the twentieth overall pick in the 2006 draft. He has been an extremely effective pass-rusher and has been pretty good in pass-coverage.
Also, he is only 24 years old and was the AFC sack champion this year. One problem he has is that he lets a lot of sacks get away from him and if he corrected this habit, he would become a household name.