Matt Blair was one of the greatest defensive players in Cyclone history. A two-year letterwinner who played on ISU’s 1971 Sun Bowl team, Blair was named the game’s most outstanding defensive player despite ISU’s loss. After sitting out the 1972 season with a knee injury, he rebounded with a fine senior campaign in 1973. Blair earned All-America honors, tallying 77 tackles, one interception and three fumble recoveries. He was invited to play in the Hula Bowl, East-West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.
Following his senior season, he was drafted in the second round of the NFL draft by the Minnesota Vikings. His stellar professional career included six Pro Bowls and two Super Bowl appearances. Blair’s accolades include being named the Vikings’ Man of the Year. He ended his career as the Vikings’ most prolific defender, owning career marks for tackles and interceptions. He also held the NFL record for blocked kicks.