After following his father's coaching career across several states, Monticello (Monticello Senior HS), Ark., prospect Brishen Mathews can safely deny allegiance to any state or college football program.
Mathews, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound safety prospect, is the son of University of Arkansas at Monticello head coach Gwaine Mathews. The elder Mathews is a native of New Orleans, where he starred at DeLaSalle High School, before attending Delta State in Cleveland, Miss. He was an all-conference defensive back for the Statesmen.
The elder Mathews went on to play for two years with Winnipeg in the Canadian Football League before beginning his coaching career. That career began as a graduate assistant at Delta State before returning to his high school alma mater. After a successful stint in high school, he continued his college career with stops at Delta State, where in won a national championship while serving as defensive coordinator, then it was on to North Alabama and Tennessee-Chattanooga before landing the head coaching job in Monticello.
"I don't have a favorite," Brishen Mathews said on Wednesday evening. "I was born in Mississippi, so I have Ole Miss in me. But I'm just entering my senior season and want to go through the recruiting process."
Mathews said Ole Miss offered about a month ago and the Rebels have joined Arkansas, Tulsa and Louisiana Tech as schools that have offered.
While Mathews has an offer from Georgia Tech listed on his Rivals.com profile, he said that offer appears to be contingent on him having a workout to the satisfaction of Yellow Jacket coaches later in the summer.
Mathews recently received a visit at his high school from Ole Miss special teams coordinator James Shibest, who recruits Arkansas for the Rebels. Shibest didn't get to watch football practice at Monticello because Mathews's team doesn't begin workouts until later this month. However, Shibest did get to watch Mathews in track competition.
"I talked with coach Shibest after his visit," Mathews said. "He was just telling me how they could use me, probably at safety or maybe at cornerback. He wants me to make a camp visit and we just talked about me getting to play early, what my chances are."
Mathews said he's not ready to declare a favorite, but definitely looks forward to Ole Miss recruiting him and he definitely plans to attend camp in Oxford.
While he comes from a football family, Mathews said he's handling his own recruitment.
"My Dad is just overseeing stuff," Mathews said. "He is not pushing me one way or the other. He just wants what's best for me and to make sure I have all the information to make a decision."
As a junior, Mathews had 120 tackles, including 101 unassisted, five interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), two recovered fumbles, two caused fumbles and one blocked kick.
He said he recently recovered from a track injury (pulled hamstring) and finished second in 200-yard event and will compete again this weekend before beginning spring football practice for two weeks next Monday.
He said he hopes to improve his 2.5 GPA and will retake his ACT after scoring a 17 on his first arttempt.