Matt Davison was raised in Tecumseh, Nebraska where he was an outstanding high school athlete. In 1997, he was named Nebraska High School Athlete of the Year and was honored with the title of Mr. Basketball as well. After High School, Matt accepted a scholarship from head coach, Tom Osborne, to take to the gridiron for the University of Nebraska. Like many youngsters in the state, Matt dreamed of one day playing football for the Big Red, and in 1997, that dream came true.
As a split end from 1997-2000, he finished his career ranked second all-time among Nebraska receivers with 93 receptions and 1,456 yards, trailing only Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Rodgers’ 143 catches for 2,479 yards. Davison led the Huskers in receptions as a sophomore, junior and senior, becoming just the third Husker to lead the squad in receiving for three straight seasons, joining Frank Simon (1949-51) and Johnny Rodgers (1970-72). Matt recorded two 100-yard receiving games and 22 multiple-catch games in his Big Red career, with a career-best 10 receptions vs. Texas A&M when he set the single-game school record with 167 receiving yards.
He earned honorable-mention honors from the league coaches in 1998, 1999 and 2000, and was a three-time first-team academic All-Big 12 honoree. He also earned a spot as an Academic All-District VII selection in 1999 and 2000.
With all of his accomplishments, the one play that stands out in the memories of Husker fans everywhere took place in the Missouri game in November of 1997, when Matt caught a deflected pass off of the foot of teammate Shevin Wiggins on the final play of regulation time. The Huskers went on to win the game in overtime, and later that year Nebraska was crowned National Champions posting a 13-0 record. The reception would forever be called simply “The Catch,” and it went on record as the most famous reception in Nebraska History. In fact, The Catch was highlighted during the 1997 ESPY Awards as College Football’s Top Play, in addition to the overall Play of the Year!
In Matt’s speech, he talks about how coaches Tom Osborne and Ron Brown, along with others, affected not only his life but the lives of all Husker players. He shares with his audiences how preparation in football mirrors preparation in life, and is one of the most essential ingredients to success. Matt relates how “rock-solid preparation and leadership” propelled the Huskers to win more games than any other team in college football since 1970, and how he has taken those same traits into the business world. Today, Matt is the President of the The 1890 Initiative, Nebraska’s premier NIL company.
If you enjoy hearing about the subjects of preparation and leadership, along with some motivating, and many times humorous stories about Husker football, you will love hearing Matt Davison!
“Success Through Leadership & Preparation”
Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win.
“We hired Matt Davison for a Cattlemen’s meeting which ended up being a perfect mix of business first followed by Matt as our keynote speaker…and he was exceptional! I can’t think of a better speaker for any event in Nebraska. His stories resonate with any audience and his message is absolutely amazing! Matt has a great rapport with the audience, makes everyone laugh often, but also gives a strong message on leadership and accountability. I received so many compliments after our meeting. I would hire Matt again and again! And lastly, thank you Barry, Tyler and MidAmerica Speakers Bureau for being so awesome to work with! You gave us great advice on appropriate speakers, followed up immediately and made the booking process effortless. We will definitely be using you to book all speakers at future events!”
Tessa Quittner, President, Nebraska Cattlemen Sandhills Affiliate
“Matt was one of the highlights of our recent Cooperative Director Training program. Our members really enjoyed his presentation and two comments that we received on the evaluations really summed up the evening. One of our members said, ‘It was outstanding, I could have listened all night!’ and the other comment was ‘I enjoyed his honesty and candidness during the Questions and Answers.’ Matt really delivered for our event.”
Ed Woeppel, Nebraska Cooperative Council
“Barry and Tyler, I wanted to let you know that Matt’s talk today was outstanding! In my 33 years in education, Matt delivered the most spot-on message to a group of students that I have ever seen!” Thanks again for booking Matt for us…he was FANTASTIC!”
Randy Pirner, 7-12 Principal, Homer Community Schools
“Tyler and Barry, our National Junior Hereford Association Motivational Breakfast at Memorial Stadium was a definite highlight and Matt’s message was spot on! I loved how he challenged our young people to think ahead to the end of their lives, and at that point, it wasn’t going to matter how many football games or national championships they had won, but rather, what kind of influence they had on those around them, and the level of character they exhibited. Matt was an excellent choice for this conference and the kiddos took away many valuable life lessons. I would definitely love to use Matt again sometime. Thanks so much to MSB for all the help!”
Amy Cowan, Director of Youth Activities & Foundation, National Junior Hereford Association
“Matt Davison was the keynote speaker at our 2018 Nebraska Agri-Business Association Summer Meeting and the presentation he delivered was perfect! He did an excellent job of understanding our audience and creating a message that was fun, entertaining and educational. He interacted very well with our members and gave thoughtful answers to their questions, even staying longer than expected to make sure everyone got a chance to ask their questions! Thank you for helping make our event a big success!”
Andy Licht, Nebraska Agri-Business Association
“Matt Davison spoke to our seniors during our annual Aurora High School Career Day. Our students absolutely loved him! His open honest conversation with the students was very well received. We appreciated his message of hard work, being a true team player and the importance of strong leadership. Our school is looking forward to having Matt speak at future events. He truly made the day more impactful to our students!”
Barbara Bonifas, Counselor, Aurora Public Schools
“I invited Matt Davison to speak to my entire leadership team at PayPal Omaha’s Global Operations on the need to plan, prepare and expect to win as leaders. Matt was exceptional! He had the 200+ leaders spellbound with his thoughts on leadership and his life experiences. He detailed real-life examples and techniques that have enabled him to architect a successful career on the football field and in his professional career as a sports commentator. While the football experiences were near and dear to the Husker hearts in the room, the greatest takeaways from Matt’s presentation to my leaders was the importance and value of planning and preparing to be a leader, and how those steps will enable a leader to succeed. I highly recommend having Matt join any organization’s leadership discussion. Matt is truly a gifted speaker and has an innate ability to inspire while touching the hearts and minds of his audience in a compelling and authentic manner.”
Linda Dugan, Vice President, Global Operations
“In September Matt Davison was our kickoff speaker at our fall NMGMA (Medial Group Management Association) meeting in Kearney, NE. Matt is an outstanding speaker with a lot of energy. He was able to use real life stories from his Husker football career and tie them into the need to develop ones leadership skills as well as the importance of preparation and adapting to change. He sure had everyone’s attention! Thanks Matt for a great talk!”
Jerry Greenquist, Past President, NMGMA
“Matt Davison recently spoke at our Hartington Cedar Catholic High School Booster Club Kickoff. I must say he did a great job for us! I had never heard Matt speak to a group before, and he certainly met all of our expectations. He had very positive comments for our group, and he captured the attention of our students, which can be difficult at times! I had always heard great comments from others who had hired Matt as a speaker, and after he spoke to our group I found out they were right…he delivers! Matt is very easy to talk to and made you feel like you’ve known him for a long time. In a nutshell, we were very pleased! Thank you for booking Matt for our event!”
Jerry Wintz, Booster Club President
“Overall we couldn’t have been more pleased with Matt Davison speaking at our 100th Anniversary Celebration in 2017. His topic on leadership fit our occasion very well. Everyone enjoyed Matt’s humor, and his taking questions at the end of his speech was very well received. Also, his interacted with our members afterward by visiting and signing posters until everyone had a chance to meet him was greatly appreciated! I would recommend Matt to anyone for a main-event style speaker!”
Kent Taylor, President/CEO, Farmers Ranchers Co-op
“Matt’s speech at our Northwestern Lumber Association’s State Convention was fantastic! It was one of the better keynotes that we have had, (many dealers said the same). Matt was positive, extremely engaging and very humorous. His passion for people, and of course, University of Nebraska Athletics, is top notch! It was a pleasure listening to his stories from his career and also his lessons from life. I would recommend Matt to anyone looking for a keynote speaker for an event or convention. The attendees (like ours) will not go home unhappy!”
Connie Johnson, Professional Development Coordinator
“Matt Davison spoke at our open house for our community’s new rec center and did such an awesome job! From the minute we shook hands, I felt like I had known him forever because he has such a beaming personality and I heard from others they felt the same way. There were all generations present to listen to Matt and he did such a great job that he definitely had a captive audience! Matt also made it easy to communicate with…he contacted me a few days before to recap the details of his presentation and contacted me when he had arrived. Need a speaker that will bring smiles and laughs to the kids and to the adults? Matt is your guy!”
Valerie Turner, Geneva Activity & Ed Director
“Barry and Tyler, Matt Davidson did just an outstanding job at our Chamber banquet last evening! He was available during our social hour, greeting and mingling with the crowd which they really enjoyed! He gave a very interesting and inspiring presentation after dinner, and then stayed afterward signing posters, posing for pictures and visiting with our members. Believe me when I say we could not have asked for more! I will not hesitate for a moment in recommending him to other groups, or in bringing him back to our Chamber for another event. Thanks Barry, Tyler and MidAmerica Speakers Bureau for a job well done!”
Doug Garwood, President South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce
“Matt Davison was the keynote speaker at our Papillion-La Vista High School Fall Sports Kick-Off. The audience included staff, students, administrators, parents and community members. I’ll have to say Matt was great! I have received a ton of positive feedback. He shared several lessons he learned growing up as a boy in Tecumseh, Nebraska. Also, he emphasized the life lessons he had learned from great men like Coach Tom Osborne. Matt stressed how preparation and leadership are two vital keys to success in the game of life. Matt’s message was definitely one that ALL people, regardless of age, should hear. I would highly recommend Matt to any organization!”
Jason Ryan, Athletic Director, Papillion-La Vista High School