As we arrive at our penultimate palindrome day, let's look at the new #22 on the Bronco roster—Alexander Mattison
#22, Alexander Mattison, True Freshman, RB
Weight: 206 lbs.
High School: San Bernardino High School, San Bernardino, CA
How'd he get to the Blue™?
The consensus 3-star recruit was a two-time member of San Bernardino Sun's first-team after rushing for over 2,000 yards in both his junior and senior seasons at SBHS and scoring a combined 48 TDs. After Mattison's senior season at SBHS, he was selected to play in the Inland Valley Football Classic. Far from a one-trick pony, Mattison won a league wrestling title and finished as the 195-lb runner up in the CIF championships last season and also won Mountain Valley League titles in shot put and the 110 hurdles. After his incredible final year, Mattison won the Ken Hubbs Male Athlete of the Year Award and the SCPL Scholar Athlete of the Year Award. Somehow, after all these accolades (and incredible grades, to boot) Mattison was still on the recruitment board in late January after one of the Broncos' long-time RB recruits jumped ship, and in an intriguing twist was actually rated higher than the outgoing RB by Scout.com. Mattison's full offer list included Arizona State, Colorado, Colorado State, SJSU, Washington, and Washington State.
You'll hear this a lot. The kid is SMART.
NBA star Kawhi Leonard
Back-to-back 2,000 yard rushing seasons in 2014 and 2015. Back-to-back member of San Bernardino Sun first-team. Winner of Ken Hubbs Male Athlete of the Year Award after senior season. Winner of SoCal Prep Legends Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award in 2015 (video below).
We've talked before about how lucky the Broncos were to land Mattison after the presumed star of the 2016 recruiting class—RB Damarea Crockett—flipped to Missouri. Well, if you didn't read the earlier chatter...the Broncos were very fortunate. Not that fellow frosh Robert Mahone isn't a heckuva back in his own right, but it was clear Boise State had a need to land two backs in the 2016 class and Mattison was one of the best...and those types usually are well off the board in late January. Amazingly, it seemed Mattison was just waiting for the Broncos to come around...even with scholarships from a host of Pac-12 programs in hand. Lee Marks even intimated on signing day that they'd have found a spot for Mattison regardless. I think we're all just glad that the stars aligned on signing the talented and wicked smaht RB.
Now that we're well past the how of Mattison's presence on The Blue, we can now talk about just how he fits in to the running back rotation. I don't know if Alexander receiving the #22 jersey was torch-passing or mere coincidence, but I'm sure many Bronco fans would be over the moon if Mattison approached Doug Martin status at Boise State. I think he's done himself a considerable favor by arriving on campus at 206 lbs. and from the look of practice film, he's still got room to add further bulk. I think Mattison has the ability to crack the RB rotation this year as a true frosh and can become a key part of a scary-looking RB stable in coming seasons as well. Coach Marks hinted that both freshman backs could see time as early as this year, but Coach Harsin walked it back a little adding that they are still making those evaluations. Either way, to even be considered for a redshirt-burning when there are already 5 RBs on the roster speaks to the talent level coming in at running back. I'm going to go out on a slight limb and say that Mattison does, indeed, play this year as a true frosh—working in slowly at first and then by year's end is considered a key part of what I'll assume will be a 3-headed RB attack.
Is he on Twitter?
Mattison was a 3 sport star with a 4.8 GPA in high school. You think he has time for Twitter?
Completely NOT Made Up Fact
Mattison once got a "B" in U.S. History and one in Trigonometry in the same grading period. Those "poor" grades dropped his grade point average to 4.68. Mattison has been in a bi-lingual immersion program since grade school and is fluent in Spanish.