March 3, 2008

Matthews talks about his decision

The North Shore Mustangs football program has littered Division-one rosters in recent years with more than 40 players signing in the last decade. Throw in current NFL players Cory Redding, Aundre Gurode and Terrence Melton, and the Houston area program has featured some of the best the state has produced.

Included in the numerous prospects to come out of North Shore are former Texas Longhorns Joe Walker and Cory Redding, as well as current Longhorn corner back Chykie Brown.

On Saturday, the Longhorns added another prospect from the talented school in tight end Barrett Matthews. The 6-1, 215-pound versatile prospect is coming off of a 22-5A first team all-district selection in which he recorded numerous pancake blocks, as well as 383 yards and seven touchdown receiving.

The 13th Longhorn commit pointed to the family atmosphere as the reasoning for choosing the in-state power.

"I picked Texas because it reminds me of North Shore," Matthews said. "They have a family atmosphere and are a big-time football school. The coaches remind me of my coaches at North Shore. They also pass the ball to the tight end, which I like,"

Matthews, who sports a 325-pound bench and 415-pound squat in addition to running a 4.6-forty yard dash, said the day was long Saturday, but Texas showed everything he needed to see.

"It was a long day. I woke up at 5:45 to be able to get to Austin. When we arrived, they opened the gates and showed me a lot of love. I went to see Coach Giles first and he said they were very interested in me. After that, Coach Rucker showed a few places around campus. After looking around with Coach Rucker, I sat down with Coach Brown. Coach Brown said they wanted to offer me. He told me that they had been watching my video and liked my blocking and pass catching. They liked that I could split out," Matthews said.

Matthews quickly decided to commit to Texas, but not without the okay from his parents. Matthews, who was accompanied on the trip by his mother, father and older brother, said his parents felt the family atmosphere at Texas.

"I went with my mom, dad and older brother. They like Texas a lot because my parents feel like they are an extended family. They (mom and dad) felt like it was home to them and that I would be taken care of," Matthews said.

The devastating blocker said Texas is recruiting him as a tight end, but did mention that his versatility could lead to playing two or three positions, which was music to his ears.

"I think I can be good at any position. Texas is recruiting me as a tight end, but Coach Brown told me they could use me at H-back. I feel like I can play h-back, tight end or split out. It will be good for me to be versatile. I just want to get on the field." Matthews said.

North Shore offensive coordinator Brian Ford says he sees a bright future for the latest in a long line of heavily recruited tight end prospects.

"Barrett plays with one of the most physical mentalities I have ever seen," Ford said. "He is a real competitor and an explosive athlete. Probably one of our best receivers, too. He's not real big, but he's so aggressive and powerful. He really gets after it. He is a violent blocker Barrett is the kind of athlete that can do a lot of things for a team. He'll run in the 4.5's."

Matthews recently wrapped up his junior year on hardwood and is now focused on track season. The rock solid 215-pounder will run the 200-meters and 400-meter relay for the Mustangs varsity track team. He recorded an 11.1 time in the 100-meters last year at the district meet and was running right at 22.9 in the 200-meters.

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