Matt is the son of Henry Saracen and Shelby Garrett, and lives alone with his grandmother, Lorraine Saracen. Matt takes care of Lorraine due to her old age and battle with dementia. Matt's relationships with both of his parents are strained as Henry is a soldier stationed in Iraq (who has shown no signs of caring about his son's troubles), and Shelby left Matt when he was younger. The full extent of Shelby's departure is unknown, but it has been implied that Henry might have been an abusive husband.
When the series begins, Matt is the back-up quarterback, hardly getting noticed on the field due to Jason Street being the top high school quarterback in the nation. Along with his best friend Landry Clarke, he is a social outcast, and not as popular as some of his teammates. That all changes when Jason suffers a career-ending injury, and Matt is forced into becoming the starting quarterback. The town and team is crushed by Jason's injury, going so far as to force Coach Taylor to find a new quarterback, as no one (besides Coach) believes Matt can get the job done. As Matt continues to work his heart out and impress his teammates, a new quarterback, Ray "Voodoo" Tatum joins the team and temporarily replaces Matt as the starter, before his lack of being a team player forces Coach Taylor to bench him and give the starting position back to Matt. He finished his sophomore season with a 60% completion percentage, 1,586 yards, 14 touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and a 121.3 quarterback rating. In the state championship game, Saracen passed for 183 yards and 2 touchdowns in leading the Panthers to a 27-26 epic comeback victory over West Cambria High School.
Matt also began a relationship with Coach Taylor's daughter, Julie. At first it was a one sided crush, as Julie had no intentions of ever dating a football player. But as the season progressed, she slowly began to return the feelings. Coach Taylor was not too pleased that they were dating and would often interfere in their relationship. However, both Matt and Julie
|Zach Gilford as Matt Saracen|
|Portrayed by||Zach Gilford|
quarterback for the Dillon Panthers
|Relatives||Grandmother: Lorraine Saracen|
Father: Henry Saracen
Mother: Shelby Garrett