2017 Neville (La.) defensive tackle Phidarian Mathis was on hand with his mom and a teammate for LSU's loss to Alabama in Tiger Stadium last weekend. Make no mistake though, Tiger Stadium blew away the Boot State target.
"It was kind of amazing. The crowd was absolutely loud. It was a live game and a great game because it's a good atmosphere up there," Mathis said. "I sat back and was rooting for both teams. I was watching their defense and checking out coaches on the sideline. I didn't get too out of hand with it."
It was Mathis' mom first visit to LSU for a game and she approved.
"She loved it. It was the crowd I guess. She liked the atmosphere out there."
Mathis didn't get to talk with the coaches before the game because of traffic, but postgame, he chatted with LSU special teams coach Bradley Dale Peveto about his recruitment.
"They just wanted to know what they had to do to make me a Tiger. They're still on my top and we're going to roll with it. I haven't made a decision, it's just hard."
After taking in Alabama-Texas A&M in Tuscaloosa, Mathis can now compare the two environments. Mathis was quick to say it was a big difference between the two environments.
"It's a big difference. I can tell you that. You got Bama and you got LSU's stadium. LSU's stadium is loud and that's the difference between Alabama and LSU game. Especially when they're on defense."
Mathis was watching Dave Aranda's defense closely and noticed Aranda changing personnel and alignment, which Mathis said that impressed him because of the way it can toy with the offense trying to decipher what the defense is showing.
"I like how they work up front. They tried to change the scheme up a lot and how they moved my former teammate Rashard Lawrence from one play at tackle and one play at end. It kind of fools with somebody's head when you're moving around and that's pretty good."
The former 5-star defensive tackle and Neville teammate Rashard Lawrence is at LSU now, but Mathis said he's not getting too much of a recruiting pitch from his former partner in the trenches.
"We got a pretty great relationship. He's not that type of guy. He's just telling me to make the right decision and do what's best for me and do what makes you feel at home. He tells me that straight up like that. I haven't thought too much about it (playing with him). I know I want to do what's best for me."
Ed Orgeron has done a good job reenergizing the LSU program and Mathis said that he's impressed enough to think Orgeron could do a nice job as the head coach. That being said, he'll be watching to see who ends up with the full-time job, saying he'll have to look at everything again if Orgeron doesn't get the job.
"I like him and like what he's doing over there. I think he can take the job and make a big impact over there. It depends on what coach it is and what school he's coming from," Mathis said.
The Scout 300 defensive tackle plans to decide after Neville's season is over and the list of suitors along with LSU and Alabama includes TCU right now. The No. 2 defensive tackle in Louisiana said he will likely take a couple more official visits, mentioning Cal, Georgia, UTSA (Frank Wilson) and Miami (Fla.) After the season, he'll make the dates official for those visits.