Mathews: 'Tennessee is special'

InsideTennessee keeps you on top of all the latest football recruiting news. Scroll down to read about an in-state offensive lineman who is "very interested" in Tennessee.

Simply put, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy standout offensive tackle Bryce Mathews likes Tennessee more and more after each visit.

"It's just a great place, but it's one of those places that has so much to offer. It's like, you think you know everything about Tennessee, then I come back up and learn more," Mathews told InsideTennessee. "This place just gets better and better each time I come up."

The last time the class of 2016 prospect made the short trek to Knoxville was to watch the Vols' Orange & White spring game on April 12.

Mathews has visited Tennessee handfuls of times before, but he said he especially enjoyed his most recent trip because it allowed him to soak in Neyland Stadium nearly in mid-fall form.

"That atmosphere was insane. That was so impressive," Mathews said. "I did not think that many people would show up. It just is a real reminder of how big and passionate this fan base is. They love their school."

In that sense, Mathews' spring game visit was eye-opening in a way.

The 6-foot-6, 255-pounder is surrounded by Vols fans every day, saying he feels "fortunate" to hold a Tennessee offer.

"All the people around us, there are so many people around us who are die-hard Tennessee fans," Mathews told IT. "I know how much people care about this team and what this team means to the state. It's just really humbling to be asked to be apart of that. This is a really special place. I know that."

With that said, Mathews isn't about to rush into a decision.

Mathews, who claims offers from Tennessee and Ole Miss and says he's been receiving "heavy" interest from Auburn, said he wants to fully experience the recruitment process before weighing his options.

"I'm really impressed by Tennessee. They make a big impression on me every time, but I want to really experience this process," Mathews said. "I'm open to anything and I'm not going to rush it."

Other than what he described as a "lively" game day atmosphere, Mathews said his favorite part of his most recent Tennessee visit was watching the offensive line — specifically its coach Don Mahoney.

"I watched the o-line and watched coach (Mahoney) and just wanted to see how he interacted with his guys," Mathews said. "I liked it. He was intense, but I know he's a good guy, too."

Mathews lists his relationship with Mahoney as one of the main reasons he's "so interested" in Tennessee.

"I love talking football with him. He's a really nice guy," Mathews said. "He's one of my favorites. I like him as a coach and as a person."


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