At the time the coaching staff at the University of Kansas extended him a scholarship offer in early May, the big safety from Pflugerville, Texas realized he didn't know much about the Jayhawks.
Alex Matlock was intrigued, and so started to do a little bit of
research. He was impressed by the program's tradition, recent success
and coaching staff – both first year Head Coach Turner Gill and the
experienced staff he had assembled.
He knew he wanted to make a visit to the Lawrence, Kan. campus, to see
things first-hand. However, as he and his parents loaded up and
prepared to make the 700-mile journey last weekend, he never expected
to make a commitment to the Jayhawks – at least not yet.
He wasn't sold on the school yet, Matlock said, not by a longshot.
There were still many questions that needed answering.
Thankfully for Kansas, plans change. Tuesday afternoon, Matlock became
the seventh member of the Jayhawks' rapidly-growing 2011 recruiting
"One thing that sold me about KU, their campus by itself is absolutely
beautiful, along with the facilities," he explained. "But the thing
that sold me most was that the coaches were very welcoming. Their
academics were (very impressive), their student to teacher ratio for
such a big school was unbelievable, and just blew me away."
Defensive backs coach Vic Shealy took the lead in his recruitment, and
Matlock quickly built a relationship with him on a foundation of trust
and honesty. That positive impression was extended to the coaching
staff as a whole upon his arrival in Lawrence.
Gill, he said, was particularly impressive.
"Coach Gill, when you meet him and you talk to him face to face, he
gives off an aura that he's a guy that's all about his principles," he
said. "He's true to his word, and he's a guy that's going to come in
here and make a difference at Kansas for the good of the program and
for the players."
As a prospect, Matlock brings a great deal to the table. At 6-foot-2
and 190 pounds, he brings outstanding size to the defensive backfield,
and his 4.5-second 40-yard dash is testament to his speed. It's his
penchant for making big plays – be it interceptions, pass break-ups or
big hits – that stand out most vividly on film.
It's that ability to make an instant impact, in addition to his
leadership, that he felt attracted the Kansas coaches to him initially.
"They like my size, my speed," Matlock said. "But they also liked that
I'm a playmaker on the field, and I make a difference when I'm out
With both of his parents firmly supporting his decision – "They felt
with me being far away from home that I was in good hands with the
coaching staff and the players (at Kansas)." – he's relieved to have
the recruiting process behind him.
"Obviously, now with that off my shoulders I can definitely commit to
me and my team working together, and getting bigger, getting ready for
college," Matlock said. "And also pursuing a state championship at my
Scout.com went on tour with SMU at their camps and interviewed several of the campers. For the next…