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 Baseball

Indians rise to occasion minus senior leader

East Coweta’s baseball team led off Monday with its leadoff hitter, senior Cam Smith, in a hospital bed recovering from an emergency a ... Read More


High School Baseball

Newnan starts ‘long week’ with short outing

Faced with more games than days left in the regular season, Newnan couldn’t have scripted a better start to a busy final week of baseb ... Read More


Trinity football holds inaugural fishing tourney

Some football programs sell candy bars, others hold memorabilia auctions or hold a 5K/fun run. But Trinity Christian went fishing for ideas, ... Read More


High School Track & Field

Lady Cougars, Indians top local finishers at 3-AAAAAA meet

FAIRBURN — Westlake teams ran away with Region 3-AAAAAA track championships on Saturday, but the final day of the meet brought unfinis ... Read More


High School Baseball

Weather continues to cause teams to scramble

Newnan baseball coach Marc Gilmore might have said it best Thursday night when asked about all the games his team has missed and still has t ... Read More

Lady Vikings golf team wins region title

Northgate golf teams made the most of a home course advantage for this week’s Region 4-AAAAA tournament in Newnan on Canongate 1. The ... Read More