"He had an ear infection and we didn't know he was allergic to penicillin," Greg Matthews Sr. says about the situation that almost took his son's life. "He had an allergic reaction to penicillin and he went into a seizure at four months old. I had been in Alaska and my wife would put him in the bed with her while I was away and she just felt some kicking. She thought it was our daughter, who is 18 months older than Greg, and she got up and turned the lights on and sure enough his eyes were rolled back and he had a temperature of 106.
"She dialed 911 and got him to the hospital in time," he continues. "I was coaching our squadron basketball team at the time and I had a broken ankle and that was why I was coaching and not playing. I met them at the hospital and they ended up doing a spinal tap without giving him any medication. That was one of the toughest things I have ever had to do, hold him still while the doctors did that. So, like I say he is our miracle baby."
Being lucky enough to make it through such a dangerous situation, the younger Greg Matthews was able to grow into a strong and athletic young man who would play a number of sports including basketball, baseball and football, which he still plays at Edgewater High in Orlando.
Despite his love for all three sports, the writing was on the wall early on that Matthews' athletic future would lie on the gridiron.
"When I was a freshman I actually started on defense," he explains. "I didn't play much receiver, but they moved me over to receiver and my sophomore year I played receiver and this year I played receiver and in a couple of the defenses I played safety. Then, this upcoming season I am going to play corner and receiver."
As if getting a starting nod as a freshman on one of the most powerful high school football programs in the state wasn't enough, Matthews began sharing time with some of the top talent in the country as a sophomore, which was his first season ever as a wide receiver. "I have been starting since I was a sophomore, but I was splitting time with Florida State safety Kenny Ingram," he notes.
Last season as a junior, Matthews had a strong year despite a very small number of passes being thrown by his team and having another D-I prospect, Bobby Rasul, starting at the other receiver position. "I had around 500 yards and like six touchdowns," he says. "As a team we finished 13-2 and we lost in the state championship."
However, he adds that there were quite a few distractions that he and his teammates had to deal with throughout the season just to make it to the state championship game. "It was the most controversial team I have ever been on," Matthews explains. "It started when our star linebacker got stabbed by his stepdad and he couldn't really start off the season. Then, our quarterback got in trouble with some girls and he got kicked out of school and our starting safety, his dad committed suicide, so the season went kind of up and down."
He also notes that once the original quarterback was asked to leave school the passing game took on a whole different dimension for the remainder of the season. "I was doing good with the starter because we had a bit of connection," he says. "I had played with him last year and we had gotten our timing down over the spring and I had like four touchdowns in the first three games. When he got kicked out my stats kind of went down, but I was just working with the younger quarterback and trying to get on the same page.
Even with a number of unfortunate incidents last fall, Matthews says that he still just enjoyed playing the game and especially certain parts of it. "Going across the middle and getting the first down," he says is his favorite part of being a receiver. "Going and getting the ball and making the extra effort really.
"It's third and long, you know we have got to do it and you still can't stop me," he continues. "No matter what, third and long or fourth and long and you know it is coming to me and you still can't stop me."
Despite his passion for going over the middle as a receiver, Matthews adds that he also really likes the contact that comes with playing defense. "I can't really say," he replies when asked which position he likes more. "I like safety because I like hitting people in the mouth when they come across the middle, but then again I like going across the middle as well so I can't really say which one I like better."
With solid numbers as a junior, great athletic ability, prototypical size and the ability to possibly play a number of positions on the college level, Matthews has already raked in an impressive list of big-time college offers.
With so many offers already on the table, Matthews says that he is definitely going to take his time in making a decision about where he wants to attend college. "I am just really keeping my options open," he explains "I am going to try and take all five visits before I make a decision.
"My parents want me to stay in the state so those are probably my top three choices right now, but I wouldn't mind, if I do pretty good on defense this year, coming to Auburn and playing a little defense," he adds. "I have talked to Coach (David) Gibbs on the phone a few times, their defensive coordinator.
"But, I wouldn't mind going to Auburn to play a little defense or maybe to Louisville--they have got a pretty good quarterback coming back," he continues about his possible college choices. "Maybe Michigan, they produce pretty good receivers. I wouldn't mind going to Michigan and at Ohio State, Ted Ginn Jr. is my cousin so I wouldn't mind going to play with him, but they don't throw the ball much so I don't know."
Even though he is not sure about where he wants to eventually attend college, Matthews says that he knows that making sure his grades and standardized test scores are in proper order so that he can qualify to attend college are very important issues.
"At the beginning of the season I sat down with my parents and had a little talk about my grades and what I needed to do in the classroom because this year is important for me," he explains. "So, I started thinking about college at the beginning of the year. I took the SAT in December so I could try and get qualified so I wouldn't have to scramble to try and get test scores and grades all next year. I am just trying to get qualified and get ready this year."
The tall receiver also notes that he already has a very good idea about his possible field of study in college. "Personally, I want to major in physical education, but math comes so easy to me so my mom wants me to be a math major because she says we need more black math teachers, but I am not sure. It will probably be one of those two."
He also notes that the education department will be something that he is very interested in looking at during each of his college visits. "If I major in physical education I will look into that and see what their physical education program is like and what their teaching program is like," Matthews says. "I will definitely be looking at their graduation rates. I don't want to go to a school where their players aren't graduating because they aren't doing something right. And I will be looking to see if they are winning or not because I want to win the national championship."
Even with a large number of college offers already on the table for Matthews to chose from, he says that is not going to stop him from attending a number of college camps and combines throughout the summer starting with the Scout.com combine in Jacksonville Fla., this Sunday.
"I plan on going to Florida State camp, Miami Camp, Florida Camp, Auburn, Louisville, Ohio State and Michigan Camps," he adds.