January 14, 2011

Matthews chose CSU over BYU, Air Force

One of the biggest changes since head coach Steve Fairchild took over the Colorado State football program in 2008 was the amount of true freshman that would play rather than redshirting like most did under Sonny Lubick. That chance to play early is something that Converse (Texas) Judson safety Trent Matthews really liked about the CSU program.

Matthews, who committed to the Rams the week before Christmas, had several reasons to choose the Rams.

"First, CSU was offering be the best scholarship. Then there was the chance that I might start as a true freshman," Matthews said on Friday. "Third, just being up in Fort Collins, it was really nice up there. I liked the atmosphere and bonded with the teammates - it really felt like home."

He seemed to get the feeling that CSU was the place he wanted to be after taking an official visit during the beginning of October where he watched the Rams' put up an impressive defensive performance against TCU.

Though CSU lost the game 27-0, the Rams' defense stifled the Horned Frogs in the first half, holding them to only 6 points.

"TCU was recruiting me for a while, but I was glad I got to see both of them play," he said. "The CSU defense handled themselves well in that game, the only thing left out on the field was that they needed more leaders. They were young and only had a few seniors."

The 6-foot-3, 200 pound Matthews is looking forward to making an impact in that defense. Much like CSU's Mike Orakpo, Matthews says he was recruited to play safety for the Rams, but might eventually make the switch the outside linebacker. Either way, he's just happy to play, but Matthews feels like he has what it takes mentally to play safety at the NCAA FBS level.

"A good defensive back has the knowledge, because you can be the best athlete out there, but if you don't have the knowledge to play the game, it will get you nowhere," said Matthews, who runs a 4.51 40-yard dash. "Also, you gotta just have fun out there. If you can't have fun while playing, you shouldn't be playing the sport."

During his senior season at Judson High School, Matthews didn't have an interception, but racked up 145 tackles. His efforts earned him offers from not only CSU, also but Brigham Young, Kansas State, Air Force, Sam Houston State and Colorado - though the scholarship from the Buffaloes was from former head coach Dan Hawkins.

Matthews was excited about his offer from BYU, saying that it's a great school and the Cougars have an excellent football program, but he didn't feel comfortable in Provo, Utah following his visit due to the fact he's not a member of the LDS Church.

The Texas safety says all of his academics are in order and won't have a problem qualifying, but wasn't satisfied personally by his SAT scores and will retake it on Jan. 22.

All indications point toward Matthews signing with the Rams in February, and he's excited to go out and put the pads on for an new adventure called college.

"I'm excited, I'm going to be playing at the best college level possible," Matthews said. "Also, I get to make a name for myself and start fresh - it's like going back to my freshman year of high school."

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