Gill and KU Impress Latest Jayhawk

Alex Matlock had done his homework, and now he's headed to Kansas to play for Turner Gill and the Jayhawks. Aaron Cedeño with an update, inside.

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 class.

"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 there."

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 school."

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