Intro: Tyler Matthews

While Gardner-Edgerton High School Bubba Starling is widely regarded as the top senior quarterback in the state of Kansas this season, that honor may go to McPherson High School's Tyler Matthews next year. Matthews could gain momentum with a strong showing this Friday night as his undefeated Bullpups face-off against Starling's undefeated Trailblazers.

"It's going to be a great game," Tyler Matthews said. "Gardner-Edgerton's a big team, ranked No. 1. It's going to be tough, but we'll be ready."

This is Matthews first year at McPherson after transferring from Goddard High School near Wichita because his father took a job in the area.

"Last season I became a starter the third game into the season at Goddard," Matthews said. "Things are going well at McPherson. Our goal is to win state. I wanted to continue to get better and improve and help my teammates."

As a sophomore, Matthews, 6-3, 195 was 91-of-202 (45%) for 1,049 passing yards with eight touchdowns and 10 interceptions for a 54 QB rating. This season his accuracy has dramatically improved. Through the first five game Matthews is 76-of-96 (79%) for 1,258 passing yards with 16 touchdowns and only three interceptions for a 147 QB rating.

"It's nice to have great wide receivers like Christian Ulsaker, an offensive line that gives me plenty of time in the pocket and a running back as good as Kevin O'Connor to play with," Matthews stated humbly.

The numbers Matthews is putting up is turning heads with college coaches. He's already receiving interest from Kansas, Kansas State, and Colorado State. Recently he attended the K-State-UCF game in Manhattan.

"Everything was great," Matthews said of the visit, "nothing negative at all. I loved the atmosphere; the coaching staff was very welcoming to us and made me feel at home. I didn't get to speak to the coaches a whole lot one-on-one because they were busy with it being game day, but I shook hands with Coach (Dana) Dimel, who recruits my area, and with Coach (Michael) Smith. My Dad and brother came with me. They both felt welcomed as well by the staff, and my brother wants to go to school there. It was a lot of fun."

It was Matthews second trip to Manhattan for a game this year and hopes to go back again before the season is complete. He's also impressed with what he saw in Lawrence and the Jayhawk program.

"KU is a school I really like a lot too," Matthews said. "I went for the North Dakota State game. I liked the staff, the atmosphere, and also felt very welcomed there. Coach Gill's an excellent coach, and I think he'll figure it out and get things turned around. I like Coach (Aaron) Stamm who recruits my area for them. It was a great trip."

Very early in the recruiting process, Matthews says all schools are even. He's even hoping to make a return trip to Fort Collins for a Colorado State game.

"I was out there for a camp," Matthews said. "I talked to Scott Brown a lot and would love to make it to a game out there. It's kind of a long drive from here, but I'm interested in learning more about their program."

Matthews is in no rush to make a decision and may be seeing more interest come his way, especially if he keeps up the kind of season he's having at McPherson.

"We'll see how the season goes," Matthews said. "I'm hoping to go to a place where I can see early playing time. Academics are also important to me. I've been looking into Pre-Med. Distance isn't a major issue, but I don't want to be too far away from home."

Matthews credits his arm strength, ability to read defenses, and his improved accuracy as his best strengths at the quarterback position. His best 40 time is a 4.8. He wears jersey No. 12 for the 5-0 Bullpups. In the classroom he reports a GPA of 3.75.

The showdown with Gardner-Edgerton takes place on Friday, October 8th at McPherson's home field. The kickoff is set for 7 P.M. (Central).

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