Matt Saracen (Zach Gilford) is a Dillon Panthers quarterback under coach Eric Taylor (Kyle Chandler) on Seasons 1-3 of "Friday Night Lights." Though he loves football, Matt is not a stereotypical high school star. He is polite, reserved and has a passion for art. Season 4 finds him adjusting to life after high school, a process that culminates with him leaving Texas for Chicago.
Matt is unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight his sophomore season, when the Panthers' starting quarterback, Jason Street (Scott Porter), suffers a career ending spinal injury. Street's injury force Matt to assume the Panthers' starting job -- a role he never expected due to Street's status as the number one high school quarterback in the country. Over the next three seasons, Matt leads the Panthers to many victories and one Texas state championship. During his tenure as quarterback, Matt must contend with more heralded quarterbacks for the Panthers' starting job. Though never the most physically gifted athlete, he always impressed coaches and teammates with his determination and heart.
Matt lives with his grandmother, Lorraine Saracen (Louanne Stephens), an elderly woman with dementia who relies on him to take care of her. His father is a member of the U.S. army and spends most of the series away in Iraq. His mother left the family when Matt was young, though she eventually makes efforts to rebuild her relationship with him during his senior year of high school.
Matt's on-again, off-again girlfriend is Julie Taylor (Aimee Teagarden), the daughter of Matt's coach, Eric Taylor. She and Matt start dating his sophomore season, despite her intentions to never date a football player.
"When there's a fight, I usually just stand in the back and yell stuff."
"I think... I think I might throw up again."