And while he maintained that he was 100 percent locked into the Bulls program, the Badgers coaching staff never relented in their recruitment of him.
So with his senior high school season around the corner, Mathews and his family got in the car with the sole purpose of visiting Madison. The visit lived up to the expectations.
“It was better than what I expected,” Mathews told BadgerNation. “Being from Florida and you hear ‘Wisconsin,’ you think there’s going to be a lot of cows and cornfields and stuff like that. They said the facilities they just built, so they were all brand new. The campus had a very nice feel and a lot of nice people, so it was more than what I expected. It was beautiful.”
Saying he got a chance to talk to “just about everybody” involved in his recruitment, the 5-11, 180-pound Mathews got the message of how badly he is wanted from head coach Paul Chryst.
“He said he understands the whole process and how everything works,” said Mathews. “He just wants me to take my time and do what’s best for me, which is why they continue to recruit me. They play a lot of man-to-man and he said he watched my film and feels I can play man-to-man very well. He believes I am fast enough and strong enough to be physical and run with anybody. That was nice to hear.”
Wisconsin is still looking for its first cornerback in the 2016 recruiting class and could be in position to land a pair after Mathews’ visit. Good friends with Gibsonton (FL) East Bay cornerback K.J. Sails, who has the Badgers in his top 10 and who Mathews befriended at a camp, the two talk regularly and are considering playing together.
“Wisconsin told me I was a big priority and they are recruiting K.J. hard, too,” said Mathews. “K.J. and I talk almost every day, and he said he’s going to make his decision off of how I make mine.”
“I haven’t decided if I am going to take more (officials),” he said.
Still committed to USF, Mathews is not solid on a time frame to make his decision.
“I’m going to just see how it goes,” said Mathews. “I want to see how my parents like all the schools. As we sit down and talk about it, I’ll make my decision from there. It could be before, during or after the season.”
Mathews is rated a three-star prospect and the No.102 cornerback in the country by Scout.com.