Brishen Mathews has been around football his whole life.
His Father, Gwaine Mathews, the head coach and defensive coordinator at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, made sure of that.
"Dad was a coach at Delta State when I was a young kid. Delta State won the national title one of those years when he was on the staff with QB Josh Bright at the helm," said Brishen. "Needless to say, I have always loved football. My Dad and football have been a big part of my life."
So when it came time for the 6-0 3/4, 193-pounder to choose a college, he was looking for a reflection of his Father among his many offers, which included Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Tulsa and Memphis.
He found that last weekend in the form of Houston Nutt at the Ole Miss senior camp.
"Coach Nutt is just like my Dad. Ole Miss was the first school that offered me and that kind of stuck with me, but after I went to the camp there last week and got to meet with Coach Nutt, I knew Ole Miss was the place for me," he said. "My Dad is why I am who I am and I wanted to play for someone like him. Coach Nutt is that man."
Brishen's junior year at Monticello was highly-productive as a two-way player.
As a safety, he registered 120 tackles and had six interceptions. (He had seven picks as a sophomore.)
"I probably could have had more interceptions but I try to send a message to receivers not to come into my area unless they like contact," Brishen noted. "I probably should have gone for the ball more, but I can't resist the big hit."
As a slot receiver/back, Brishen gained 350 yards via receptions and rushed for 400 yards out of a triple option set.
Speed is one of his allies.
Brishen ran a 4.5 40 on a slow track at Ole Miss' camp, but prior to that he was the fastest camper at LSU's summer camp, putting up a 4.39 and 4.40 in two sprints.
"My Dad has been preaching to me since I was a little boy that football had become a speed game and that you had to have it to succeed," said mathews. "I took that to heart and have been on the track team for years. Last year, I finished second in the state in the 400. I'm always working on my speed."
For his efforts, Mathews was named All-State and All-Conference while playing for Monticello HS in the AAAAA division of Arkansas football. Monticello lost in the semifinals of the state playoffs last year and only lost seven starters off last year's squad.
"We should be able to make a run at the title this year," he said. "That's out goal for sure."
After that, it's Ole Miss bound.
"I am very excited. I'm fired up about my senior year, but I'm also ready to get going on my college career," Mathews closed. "I know I have made the right choice."
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