Barrett Matthews dominating at North Shore

The North Shore Mustangs have become one of the top programs in the state of Texas under the direction of head coach David Aymond. Since the 2003 season, which includes a 5A division I state championship in 2003, the Mustangs have recorded 71 wins and just five losses. Barrett Matthews' dominant play on a weekly basis is a reason for the perfect record headed into the second round of the playoffs.

The North Shore Mustangs have been program that has produced a number of top-flight tight end prospects in recent years including Robert Hall (Miami), James "Bubba" Moses (Oklahoma), Dajleon Farr (Miami/Memphis) and Earl Mitchell (Arizona). Texas commit Barrett Matthews is the latest in the run of successful tight ends at North Shore and is putting together another dominant year for the undefeated Mustangs team.

Matthews, the most athletic and best blocking tight end North Shore has had under head coach David Aymond, has been drawing praise for two years from the Mustangs coaching staff for his consistent effort. Offensive coordinator Brian Ford says Matthews is having a dominant season.

"He's having a great year," Ford said Monday shortly before practice. "He's continued to be a dominant blocker for us. We are constantly searching for ways to try to get him the ball, but they (opponents) are really playing him tough this year. They (opponents) are moving up on him and making sure he is accounted for, so he's getting fewer opportunities a game, but is making a lot of explosive type plays when he does get chances. With our offense, we spread it around quite a bit and nobody accumulates a lot of big stats around here - we spread the ball so much. Again, he's just a dominant blocker at this level," Coach Ford concluded.

Matthews, a first team all-district pick in 2007 after catching 18 passes for 316 yards and the key blocker in the Mustangs run game, was recruited by the Longhorns to play tight end, but the senior has the ability to play a number of positions on the next level.

At 6-1.5, 212-pounds blessed with elite foot quickness, speed in the high 4.5's or low 4.6's, above average change of direction and a nasty streak, the youngest of three brothers who have all played college athletics could be looked at any where from tight end to H-back to outside linebacker. Coach Ford thinks Matthews presents options for Texas.

"I'm not sure what his ultimate job will be at Texas. I think his size may limit his ability to play a true, on the line tight end, but he's very physical. There are a lot of possibilities with Barrett. He's extremely fast for his size." Ford said.

After a quick weight room workout before heading out to the practice field on Monday, Matthews talked about his season and what he needs to improve as his career moves forward.

"I think I've done well as far as blocking. I'm taking the correct steps and getting to the right position to block. I think I need to get better in route running. On play action, knowing when to break off my route is one thing. Knowing when the quarterback is in trouble and coming back to the ball is another," Matthews said.

After the Mustangs season concludes and an official visit to Texas followed by signing day, the devastating blocker will turn his attention to track season.

"I'm going to run track in the spring. I'll probably run the 100 and 200, but it will depend on what the coaches want me to do. I just want to get faster," Matthews said.

As far as his commitment to Texas, the senior leader says he is 100% with the Longhorns. That hasn't kept other programs from trying to change his mind.

"I've got a couple of schools still trying to call me, but I just don't answer the phone. Alabama has called a couple of times, but I'm not interested. I don't read the mail or talk to anyone," said Matthews, who has been recruited by Alabama, Florida and Oklahoma State among others since committing to Texas.

The North Shore Mustangs will take on the Hightower Hurricanes Friday night at 7:30pm at Pasadena Memorial Stadium in the featured playoff game in the Houston area this weekend. Both teams are undefeated with the winner becoming the favorite to win the region and advance to the 5A state semifinals.

Matthews enters Friday's showdown with 10 catches for 173 yards on the season.

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