Signing-day suprise fuels already percolating optimism for Kansas football offense
A June 5, 2016 headline on AL.com screamed, “Nation’s No. 1 JUCO RB flips from Louisville to Auburn.”
Octavius Matthews flipped again, stunning the recruiting world by giving Kansas a monster signing-day surprise Wednesday.
Listed at 6-foot-1, 205 pounds on his juco roster, Matthews rushed for 645 yards and five touchdowns and averaged 7.2 yards per carry for Itawamaba Community College in Fulton, Miss. He played there with Peyton Bender, projected starting quarterback for Kansas in 2017. Matthews rushed for 70 yards on nine carries vs. East Mississippi, the school featured in popular, must-watch Netflix documentary series “Last Chance U.” Bender threw for 566 yards, 76 coming on a touchdown pass to Matthews, in a 44-42 loss that day.
Bender recruited Matthews, a native of Stevenson, Ala., to Kansas. This is big news for a KU offense already adding Alabama transfers Daylon Charlot, as a wide receiver and return man, and right tackle Charles Baldwin, freshman running back Dominic Williams, a four-star recruit from Frisco, Texas, and freshmen receivers Travis Jordan from Marrero, La., and Kenyon Tabor from Derby. Tabor gives KU size and physicality at receiver, a nice complement to LaQuvionte Gonzalez and Steven Sims.
Matthews reportedly averaged 11.2 yards per carry as a senior at North Jackson High in Alabama.
Keep checking Benton's Smith blog, "Smithology," for signing-day updates throughout the day.