Many recruiting analysts had been speculating for weeks now that Matthews would end up a Duck, but it was not until his recent unofficial visit to Eugene that he knew that Oregon was the school for him.
“I cut my list down to Oregon, Georgia Tech, and Cal this past weekend. And I knew that I wanted to get my decision over with sometime before the season. With Oregon, I felt that I got the best of everything. They have great coaches, facilities, fans, and overall college atmosphere in Eugene. I called Coach Bellotti and Coach Greatwood this morning, but they were busy at Preview Day. So then I decided to text Coach Greatwood and let him know I wanted to be a Duck.”
Although Matthews was not able to speak with the coaching staff directly, he has been in contact with multiple members of the Oregon staff in the past few days.
“I spoke with Coach Aliotti yesterday, and he let me know that I was their number one guy. When I was in Eugene Wednesday, he (Coach Aliotti) let me know where he saw me fitting in with the defense and he was real excited. I saw no point in dragging it out, because I knew that Oregon was where I wanted to be.”
Matthews’ recent unofficial visit to Eugene was not his first, but a first for another member of his family.
“The first time I went up there, it was just me and my dad. But this time around, we went up there with my mom. It was real important to her to see Oregon and check things out for herself. She fell in love with Eugene from the moment we got there. That was real important for me, knowing that I had the support of my family with my decision.”
And while Matthews said “things just felt right” at Oregon, he did find a few things that stood out to him throughout the process.
“Oregon was one of the first schools to offer me, and that definitely stood out in my mind. Coach Greatwood is in charge of recruiting, and he did a real good job of making me feel comfortable with the staff and program in general. I also really like how the coaching staff has been together for a long time, and it looks like it will stay that way for a while. I also really enjoyed the state of the art facilities and Autzen Stadium. I’ve heard great things about the fans up at Oregon, and that’s something I always kept notice of.”
Matthews is not the only Oaks Christian standout to verbally commit to the Ducks. Teammate Anthony Gildon verbally committed to the Ducks on June 22.
“We’ve talked about playing together for a while now, and it’s cool that it worked out that way. He is a real good player and he’s going to turn a lot of heads when he gets up to Oregon.”
And while Matthews is relieved that his decision is over, he can now focus on his senior season and the pressures that brings.
“I’m really looking forward to playing St. Bonaventure, and although we haven’t played each other, it is turning into a big rivalry. The game has a lot of hype, and I’m looking forward to showing people what I can do. The game is going to be televised on Fox Sports West, and that’s something our whole team is ready for.”
Matthews has set aside some lofty goals for his senior season, but has set his sights even further upon his arrival in Eugene.
“I want to go up there and show the coaches that I will compete from the beginning. I’m not afraid of competition, so I will work as hard as I can to be ready for the first day of camp.”