Ad Spot

Matthews ready to get on the field at Vanderbilt

Jordan Matthews has been preparing for most of his life for his opportunity to play for the Vanderbilt Commodores in the Southeastern Conference every Saturday during the fall.
Matthews, a former Madison Academy star wide receiver, spent the early part of his summer vacation making sure he was in great shape for the day he reported to Vanderbilt last week.
The 6-foot-4, 190-pound Matthews, a Class 3A All-State selection, helped lead Madison Academy to a school record 12 wins last fall.
Vanderbilt enters the 2010 season with little depth at receiver and the Commodores will be counting on some young players – including Matthews – to step up immediately to help offensively.
“I have a chance to play right away,” Matthews said. “If I go in and get the job done, I’ll have that chance. It all boils down to how hard I work on the practice field.”
Known for his dedication and work ethic, Matthews is ready to see his dream of playing college football come to reality.
“Being able to put on that jersey and walk out through that smoke will be huge. It’ll be one of those experiences that I will remember for a lifetime. I’ll be able to tell my kids and my grandkids one day.”
Matthews moved to Nashville last week and has been going through off-season workouts with the Commodore players as he becomes acclimated to the speed of Southeastern Conference football.
“It’s pretty exciting right now,” Matthews said. “For the first time, I’m actually living something that I’ve always dreamed about. I’ve wanted to play football for Vanderbilt since the eighth grade.
“At the same time, I know that the work isn’t done.”
Matthews has stayed in game shape by working out five days a week with Bob Jones players Collins Moore and Reggie Ragland, and Eric Cosby, who currently plays for the Alabama Vipers arena football team.
Every day, Matthews spends at least three hours working in the weight room and once a week he was fine-tuning his wide receiver skills with the help of Madison Academy graduate Stafford Booth, who will play baseball at Auburn.
Matthews was a key player for Madison Academy’s basketball team and could have entertained scholarship offers from some smaller schools. But football won out in the end.
“It wasn’t really me that made that decision between football and basketball,” Matthews said. “It was the colleges that made the decision for me. I think I’ll miss basketball a little bit. I still play basketball and I love it, but at the end of the day it’s all football for me.”
Matthews knew that football was in his future the day he came home and had a hand-written recruiting letter from Vanderbilt coaches.
“That was my first experience of being recruited by a college,” Matthews said. “When that happened, being recruited by a Division I school, I knew that was the way to go.”
If Vanderbilt is a step behind some of the top dogs in the Southeastern Conference, the school stands tall academically in the league. The school’s entrance standards are higher than some of the other SEC schools, but that only helped endear Vandy to Matthews and his family. He graduated from Madison Academy with a 3.9 grade point average and he scored 23 on his ACT test.
“I take my grades very serious,” Matthews said. “My mom and dad put a lot of importance on academics. That’s what made the Vanderbilt offer so good. They’ve got football along with the academics.”
And when Vanderbilt called, Matthews knew where he wanted to be this fall. The Commodores wrapped up their recruitment with a special Christmas present – a scholarship offer from head coach Bobby Johnson on Christmas eve.
“You can’t get a better Christmas present than that,” Matthews said. “I couldn’t even sleep because everything was just running through my mind: playing in big stadiums, putting on the black and gold. All that stuff was going through my mind.
“I definitely wanted to play in the SEC. Vanderbilt might not be one of the top teams in the SEC, but every week we get to go and compete against the best teams in the nation. If you want to be the best, you’ve got to play the best. We might not be the best right now, we have a chance to prove that we can be up there with the best in this conference.”
Now Matthews is ready for his chance every Saturday to play in the nation’s top conference.

Madison

Mill Creek Greenpower Team motors to first place in Oxford

James Clemens High School

James Clemens Competition Cheer Team takes fourth state title

Madison

The celebration continues: Madison Street Festival awards grants to 16 Madison educational programs

Events

The Loomis Brothers Circus returns this weekend

James Clemens High School

Wyche earns full-tuition scholarship from Cameron Education Foundation

Madison

ReadyFest returns to underscore need for preparedness

Madison

Winter Knights Chess Tournament sets record attendance

Harvest

Delta Sigma Theta plans exciting evening with ROUGE – A Go Red Event

Events

Burritt on the Mountain to host Shane Adkins for Coffeehouse Concert series

Bob Jones High School

Sponsors essential to achieving Madison Street Festival’s traditions

Madison

Registration opens to vie for seat in pre-kindergarten

Huntsville

Former doctor from Madison sued for overdose death

James Clemens High School

Donaldson piloting James Clemens as Acting Principal

Madison

Discovery of woman’s body in Hazel Green leads to investigation of possible murder-suicide

Huntsville

Rookie Rally Chess Tournament returns to Blossomwood

Huntsville

Arts Huntsville awards $280,000 in grants to area arts organizations

Bob Jones High School

Nichols’ podcast reflects on MCS’ 25th anniversary

Madison

Regions Bank on Madison Blvd robbed again

Madison

JAN. 20 DEADLINE: Madison Visionary Partners asking for nominations for first annual MVP awards

Madison

Damaging winds, flooding possible tonight

Madison

Community remembers Donald Spencer’s public service

Madison

Water main break postpones Bob Jones vs. Austin basketball games

Madison

Library sessions to offer backyard planting tips to novice gardeners

Madison

Editorial: King’s words speak to all

x