Mathews earns 'big deal' offer

Alabama hosted some of the top underclassmen in the country for its O-line/D-line camp on Saturday, and a pair of teammates walked away with a verbal offer. 2016 three-star Bryce Mathews explains why it was "a big deal" to learn of the news inside.

Playing with close friends in high school is one thing, but sometimes teammates have the chance to play together in college as well.

Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy offensive linemen Bryce Mathews and Ryan Johnson have four of the same offers in the SEC, with two football seasons still to play, so it's safe to say that the option to play at the next level together is attainable.

On Saturday, each Scout three-star camped and earned an offer from Alabama, one right after the other.

"We both went to the camp, we were at the camp going through drills and stuff, then there was a break," Mathews said. "They pulled us into Coach [Nick] Saban's office and he offered both of us.

"It was the first time I met him, I guess it was very intimidating going into his office. He has a bunch of championship rings and cool stuff in there -- it's pretty neat. He said, ‘you have a spot here, if you want it. I like what I see and I think you're the type of guy that can fit in here.'"

Admitting he "guesses I had a good camp," the 6-foot-5, 247-pounder drew praise from several coaches on the day.

"Coach Saban told me he really liked my feet, I think I performed well in the first circuit of drills I did, pass setting and throwing the medicine ball -- things like that," he said. "He never really told me the position, but when we were doing one-on-ones Coach [Mario] Cristobal wanted me to take reps at tackle. So I'm guessing that's where he wants me."

Earning the offer is no small feat for the future big-time prospect.

"It's a big deal; it's an honor to get offered by such a successful school," Mathews said. "It's a big school. I guess I wasn't expecting it this early, I thought they'd look at my season more before offering, so getting it today was a surprise.

"They've had more success lately than a lot of other schools, a bunch of championships lately. If they come after you, it's a big deal."

Mathews now holds extensions from Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss in addition to the Crimson Tide.

"I'm looking at those four offers I have, so I'm just taking things as they come," he said. "I don't have a definite time table just yet; I'm more focused on winning a championship at BA."

The rising-junior is looking for the right fit, both on and off the field.

"I want to be able to contribute to a team, I would be open to redshirting that's fine, but I want to be able to contribute at some point as well," Mathews said. "I want to be able to prepare myself for life after football, in whatever that may be. I want to have success whenever the playing is done. "

With each top junior in no rush to make a decision with the Alabama offer in hand, each admits that there has been "a little bit of talk about" the two anchoring a college offensive line together as well.


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