After playing for Crosby (Texas) in high school, defensive back Michael Mathis enrolled at Kilgore (Texas) College, where he played for two seasons.
"I think I did okay in my first season, but I improved from last year to this year. I really tried to improve in tackling," he said.
Mathis recorded 22 tackles, three tackles for loss, four interceptions, an interception for a touchdown, and a forced fumble (sophomore season highlights can be viewed here).
The 6-foot-2, 212-pound athlete picked up an offer from Kentucky before the season and amidst other interest, has since committed to the Wildcats' program.
"[Cornerbacks] Coach [Derrick] Ansley is the coach that has hit me up the most, but I have also been talking with [offensive graduate assistant] Josh Pruitt. They have told me I have a chance to come in and make an impact right away," he said.
Though Mathis has played both safety and corner for the Kilgore Rangers, he believes he'll continue with the latter.
"The coaches think I can contribute at cornerback because of my size and speed. I have great size, length, and I can move faster than a lot of receivers. I believe that I can compete in the SEC," he said.
Mathis, who says he is "locked in" to Kentucky, had a chance to catch a few of the team's games this season.
"They did pretty good. You can see the improvement each week; they just need to keep putting up the points," he said.
Mathis will sign with the Wildcats on February 5th.
OTHER KILGORE ATHLETES PLANNING TO SIGN:
linebacker Jamarick Armstrong, who is committed to Henderson State; offensive lineman Wesley Williams, who is committed to the University of Arkansas at Monticello; offensive lineman Lawrence Willis, who is deciding among Midwestern, UTSA, and Sam Houston State; defensive lineman Michael Igwe, who has a top three of Middle Tennessee, UTSA, and Missouri State, and plans to pick before January 15th.