Happy ending for LB Mario Mathis

The recruiting journey of Mario Mathis will apparently have a happy ending.

LB Mario Mathis (AJC)

LB Mario Mathis (AJC)

The 6-foot-2, 238-pound linebacker from Thomasville High School committed to Central Florida on Monday after visiting the school with his adoptive parents of three years. Mario’s only other scholarship offer was from Florida International.

“UCF just felt right,” his father, David Fletcher told the AJC. “We got there, and Mario liked Coach (George) O’Leary a lot. They are looking at Mario at both sides of the ball, linebacker and H-back. Both of those position coaches, they were kind of fighting over him and said they would let him pick when he got there.

“They kept talking about how much they wanted him, and how much they loved him. They loved everything about him – his film, his character and everything else. The more that UCF talked about how much they wanted him, the more he wanted to be there. We liked everything else that went along with it, including the academics … everything just felt right.”

Mathis originally committed to Ole Miss last May but parted ways with the SEC school a few months later because the Rebels weren’t satisfied with the progress of his recovery from knee surgery. Ole Miss kept in touch, even dispatching an assistant to Thomasville last week to check on Mathis.

Tennessee and UGA, among other schools, also had taken a look at Mathis, who has had a solid senior season.

“Mario is ‘all in’ with UCF,” Fletcher said. “He’s very happy with the decision, and we’re very happy with it. We’re very pleased with how everything turned out.”




  • – By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog

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14 comments Add your comment


November 12th, 2012
8:03 pm

1st & congrats young man..


November 12th, 2012
8:08 pm

Congrats to this young man

Sec boyz

November 12th, 2012
8:09 pm

Ball out young man !

Jacket Man

November 12th, 2012
8:11 pm

Great news for Mario. Much closer to home; up and coming program; great facilities; great city; and they want him no strings attached. Best of luck and have a great career.


November 12th, 2012
9:15 pm

Congratulations Mario. See if they will throw in a season pass to Universal Studios . Orlando would be a cool place to study .


November 12th, 2012
9:59 pm

The list of great players from Thomas Co is almost legendary he seems to be another one

ogeechee dawg

November 12th, 2012
10:27 pm

Great story and congratulations to this young man. Wish him the best.


November 12th, 2012
11:04 pm

OLE miss turning someone down because of a lack of progress. Thier program has had a lack of progress for decades. ( wow)


November 12th, 2012
11:12 pm

Yawn…that is common practice among most SEC teams, although UGA and UF under Meyer still honored commitments.


November 13th, 2012
10:04 am

Well Mr. Nkemdiche if you decide on Ole Miss hopefully you won’t injure your leg. What a bunch of sleeze bags.


November 13th, 2012
3:36 pm

I would like to wish Mario good luck at UCF. It would be poetic justice if UCF meets Ole Miss in bowl game and he plays a key roll in thrashing Ole Miss.

GT Girl

November 13th, 2012
7:51 pm

Congratulations Mario!

Bad Dawg

November 14th, 2012
1:59 am

Good luck to him. I lived in Orlando for 15 years. UCF has done a great job improving their facilities and their coaching staff (as a UGA grad, I still think O’Leary is a great college coach). Orlando is a great city, and the UCF campus is beautiful. Not having a winter to speak of is a plus, too. He’ll enjoy the experience.

Bulldawg Rick

November 14th, 2012
10:17 pm

Good Luck Mario…

You look like a young UGA phenom – Champ Bailey!!