Matthews to play in today's televised bowl game

alt

Tray Matthews, who received his official selection to the All-American game in October, will be wearing a yellow East team jersey today with his familiar No. 28.

By DOUG GORMAN
dgorman@newnan.com
Tray Matthews isn’t exactly entering uncharted waters.
But the Newnan Times-Herald’s All-County Football Most Valuable Player is about to join a growing pipeline of Cougar players heading off to a major college football program.
He’s just doing it a little bit early.
After satisfying all of his high school academic requirements, Matthews will enroll at the University of Georgia later this month so he can get a jump start on his college career with the Bulldogs.
Before he arrives in Athens officially, however, the Newnan standout safety and wide receiver gets an opportunity to play in today’s U.S. Army All-American Bowl at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

The game features the best 80 high school players from around the country and can be seen nationally at 1 p.m., on NBC.

Matthews is among five seniors from Georgia on the East squad, joining Walton High teammates Tyren Jones and Brandon Kublanow and Cedar Grove senior quarterback Johnathon McCrary.

It’ll be the last of two All-Star contests for Matthews since wrapping up his playing career at Newnan.

Right before Christmas, Matthews played in the Georgia Dome for the South squad as part of the first D.L Scott, Jr, Coalition Bowl All-Star game.

“I just wanted to go out and have some fun,” Matthews said of his participation in the two all-star games.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt offered the Newnan standout a scholarship in the summer before his junior year, and Matthews never wavered in his decision to become a Bulldog.

Richt made a recent visit to Newnan to spend time with Matthews and his family while also spending time at Atkinson Elementary School where Matthews’ mom, Sonya, is an EIP Teacher.

Matthews will be among four Coweta players on the Georgia roster heading into the spring, joining fullback Zander Ogletree, tight end Cole Trolinger and offensive lineman Eddie McQuillen.

In the summer, he’ll be joined by incoming freshman DeAndre “Moose” Johnson of Northgate, who also expects to be part of Richt’s recruiting class next month.

Matthews contributed in all three phases during a 9-3 season for Newnan High this year. He finished with 80 tackles including 61 solo to go with three forced fumbles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Playing receiver for the first time in his varsity career, Matthews tied for the team lead in receptions with 37 and touchdowns with seven, finishing with 629 receiving yards.

Matthews added a team-high six blocked kicks on special teams.

His effort also earned him first-team Class AAAAAA All-State honors in voting done by the Georgia Sports Writers Association.



More Sports

High School Football

Bye week arrives for East Coweta, Newnan

The timing of this week's bye may differ for East Coweta and Newnan football teams, who have taken opposite roads through the start of the 2 ... Read More


High School Football

Central stays unbeaten in weather-delayed 74-point outing

Central Christian's stay in Prattville, Ala. for Friday night's football game was a lot longer than the Crusaders anticipated. But they made ... Read More


Lady Cougars finish 3-1 at Trojan Slam tournament

Newnan posted a 3-1 record in games played Friday and Saturday at the Trojan Slam in Carrollton. After falling to Bremen 5-2 to open the tou ... Read More


High School Football

In front of governor, Indians prove real deal in tough win at Whitewater

All signs appeared to point to something special in the air, even prior to the kickoff of Friday night’s East Coweta football game at ... Read More


High School Football

Cougars can’t find second effort again in loss to ranked Sandy Creek lineup

By MATTHEW PEARCE Special to the Newnan Times-Herald For the second consecutive week the Newnan Cougars had a 7-point game go awry in the ... Read More

High School Football

Hawks storm pass Young Americans

CONYERS — The Heritage School may have stayed until dawn to make sure Friday’s football game ended the right way, epecially afte ... Read More