I hope you’re prepared for the penultimate palindrome day. Cherish these moments. 22 days until kickoff means we highlight #22 on the Boise State roster today...and that happens to be Alexander Mattison.
#22, Alexander Mattison, Sophomore, RB
Weight: 214 lbs. (+8)
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 the 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.
This kid is SMART, speaks fluent Spanish, and “Professor Mattison” sounds like the name on a tincture a traveling old west salesman might pitch in the town square (it cures dropsy).
Last year, I said he looked like NBA star Kawhi Leonard and since neither had a Castor Troy/Sean Archer face/off situation...it still holds true.
Appeared in all 13 games for Broncos in 2016 as a true freshman. Mountain West Scholar-Athlete for 2016-17. Academic All Mountain West honoree for Fall of 2016. 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.
You might have heard the term year of the jump thrown around a lot lately. It’s a term generally used when a player that’s been waiting in the wings finally gets their chance in the spotlight. It was used when Jay Ajayi went from precocious RS frosh coming off a knee injury to a sophomore destroyer-of-worlds and when Jeremy McNichols went from sometimes-used true frosh role player to THE WEAPON. With that kind of precedent set, it’s not hard to see why some people are saying 2017 should be Alex Mattison’s jump year. He played in 13 games a season ago (with a torn labrum no less) despite Jeremy McNichols getting the lion AND jackal’s share of the touches and he still found a way to impress. Maybe no run last season was more impressive than the one the true freshman had against BYU, when Mattison planted one of the Cougars’ best defenders (name withheld to protect the victim) in the Blue Turf after a short swing pass. Now he’s bigger, healthier, and a bit wiser and I shudder to think what he might be able to accomplish in his first real season as THE guy (a giddy shudder, not a horrified shudder...it’s not like I have to tackle him).
You don’t rush for over 4,000 yards in your last two seasons of prep ball, win league titles in the 110 hurdles, shot put, and wrestling and be a person who rests on one’s laurels, and Mattison’s work ethic is already somewhat legendary. The bottom line is that I think Mattison has the talent, ability, and most importantly desire to be the next great Bronco back and if he stays healthy, I think he assuredly will be. The Broncos have had a 1,000-yard rusher EIGHT years in a row, and I think Mattison ensures that streak continues for at least a few more years. His balance, speed, and size aren’t things we haven’t seen before at Boise State (thanks to guys like Doug Martin, Jay Ajayi, and McNichols)...but he certainly has different helpings of each and brains to match. When given his chance—this one could be another special 'back in blue and orange. Stay glued to that tv set/pirated internet stream, folks.
Is he on Twitter?
He’s a busy man and doesn’t have time for such endeavors.
Completely made up fact
Mattison’s nigh-unattainable GPAs and ability to speak Spanish are well-documented, but he’s also fluent in Klingon and “dabbles” in Romulan.