"I called Coach Jimmy Ray Stephens last night and told him I was committing to Tennessee," Mathis said. "I just felt real comfortable down there, the players were real cool, and I felt at home."
Playing time was a big issue with the No. 21 rated linebacker in the country by Scout.com. It turned out to be the determining factor of why he chose the Volunteers over Ohio State.
"They said I would get to play early, if not at linebacker then definitely on special teams," said Mathis. Mathis and his father are very close. A few people figured distance might play a factor in Mathis' decision.
"He'll be able to fly down to my games."
In an ironic twist last night, one hour after he had made his decision, Florida called and offered him a scholarship and a chance for an official visit. Mathis had been mentioning an interest in Florida, although they had never officially offered. The late pitch was not enough to sway Mathis.
"I told them I'm done, and I'm going to Tennessee.