2017's No. 1 defensive tackle in Louisiana Phidarian Mathis hails from Neville High School and took his talents down to Orlando, Fla. to compete in the Under Armour All-America Game this past week. While his team didn't come out on top, the No. 95 overall player on Scout liked the competition.
"First off, it was just a blessing to be here for my mom and family to come down and watch me compete with these great players out here. We played a great game. It was about having fun and showing your talent off," Mathis said.
As far as recruiting goes, Mathis told Tiger Blitz after the game that LSU, Alabama and TCU are even heading into official visits.
"All teams are great. I think I'm in a good position right now. It's going to be crazy and hard to leave out of state or stay in state," Mathis said. "It's going to be hard, but I'm just going to take these official visits and make my decision after. All teams are even."
Even though Mathis said that the teams are tied after the game, the four-star told Chad Simmons earlier in the week that LSU and Alabama were tied at the top with TCU just behind them.
"Alabama and LSU have some things that are similar, but there is a pretty big difference right now," Mathis told Simmons. "The biggest difference between Alabama and LSU is one (LSU) is building things back up and the other (Alabama) is already on top." http://www.scout.com/college/lsu/story/1742438-no-1-de-in-texas-opens-up...
Why pick LSU? Staying home to play in front of family is a big selling point.
"It'd be great. I'd be closer to home and more of my family would come see me play," Mathis said. "It'd be amazing. I got a former teammate out there in Rashard Lawrence and it'd be great.
"I'd pick them because I know I'd be in a great place and get a great education and I'd be well taken care of."
LSU coach Ed Orgeron continues to push Mathis on staying in the Boot State to represent the Tigers.
"Coach Orgeron talks to me about staying home," said Mathis. "He is from Louisiana, I am from Louisiana, and he wants me to stay home. He thinks I can go to LSU, make an impact at defensive end and defense tackle and he knows a lot about defensive linemen.
"I believe he is a good coach and he is going to work hard to get LSU to the top."
As far as the Horned Frogs go, who have made a push to earn his last official visit, Mathis said the scheme is the draw in Ft. Worth.
"TCU I heard they have a great defensive line and I fit in with their scheme. It's similar to my high school scheme and I feel like I could make a big impact over there," Mathis said.
Alabama continues to be LSU's biggest challenger for Mathis' signature and early playing time is a big selling point in Tuscaloosa as well.
"Like I said about TCU, they're in need for defensive linemen. They're great right now and I know there's a lot of guys leaving that if I go over there and show my talent, I could get a lot of playing time over there next year," the No. 8 defensive tackle in 2017 said. http://www.scout.com/college/football/recruiting/story/1741581-ua-game-j...
The Tide are putting a good bit of pressure on the 6-4, 290-pound defensive lineman with a trio of coaches working him.
"I have been talking to coach [Billy] Napier (Wide receivers) and coach [Karl] Dunbar every day and they have made me feel very important. They stay in good contact with me and I have been talking to coach [Nick] Saban about every other week too.
"They say they need defensive linemen bad in this class and I am really looking into that."
In the Under Armour Game on Team Highlight, Mathis got to play with fellow Louisiana product and LSU commit Tyler Shelvin, which he enjoyed.
"It was amazing. Both of us were repping Louisiana and putting on for our cities and state the whole time," Mathis said. "He's a heck of a player and he had great game. He taught me a couple moves that I didn't know. To say he's that big, he moves very quick."
Shelvin chimed in that it would be great to be along the same defensive line as the Scout 100 prospect.
"It was a great experience. It would be a great experience. We'd both be dominant as true freshmen and we'd ball out," Shelvin said.