July 29, 2009

Rebels pick up third commitment

Brishen Mathews realized on Wednesday that he knew what he wanted to do.

Days after working out in front of Ole Miss' coaches at the Rebels' senior camp in Oxford, the safety from Monticello (Monticello Senior), Ark., decided he didn't need to look around any longer.

Mathews, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, committed to Ole Miss Wednesday, becoming the Rebels' third public commitment for the 2010 signing class.

"I was just sitting down thinking and I had nine offers and I'm an SEC kid and I went to the Ole Miss camp," Mathews said. "I was around Coach Nutt and Coach Shibest and I just felt a connection. It kind of felt like home to me. I just thought about it, sat down with my dad and he said, 'Go where the wind's blowing you.' I took that path."

Mathews, the son of Arkansas-Monticello football coach Gwaine Mathews, chose the Rebels over Arkansas, Georgia Tech, Memphis, Arkansas State, Louisiana Tech, Central Arkansas and Tulsa. Gwaine Mathews coached at Delta State earlier in his career.

"It's helped me tremendously," Mathews said. "If I wasn't around the game day in and day out, I'd probably have higher grades than I do now. My dad has pushed me always. Ever since I can remember, I've been at his practices. As I got older and matured, I'd be on the sidelines watching the game. It just helped so much. Doing that and hearing my dad tell people what to do has embedded itself in my mind."

Mathews joins Atlanta, Ga., linebacker Clarence Jackson and East Mississippi Community College quarterback Randall Mackey on the Rebels' 2010 commitment list. He is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, which ranks him as the nation's No. 31 safety prospect.

Mathews said his final decision came down to Ole Miss and Arkansas.

"Arkansas was a close second," Mathews said. "It was neck-and-neck the whole time. If I had been born in Arkansas, that probably would have made the difference. I lived in (Cleveland) Mississippi five years of my life and that's really my home."

Mathews' decision, he said, is final, despite the fact that verbal commitments are non-binding and he has until February before he can sign a binding national letter-of-intent.

"My dad did tell me that whatever I decide, stick with it," Mathews said. "He said, 'Be a man of your word.'"

Mathews had 120 tackles and five interceptions as a junior.

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