- Kipp Adams, Reporter, RecruitingNation
Four-star Safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and five-star linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) have been best friends since middle school. But it was not until after Foster committed to Alabama and Matthews committed to Georgia last summer that the two ESPN 150 prospects began seriously discussing the possibility of playing together at the next level. The two have gone back and forth on the Tide and Bulldogs in the last year. Many wondered whether Matthews and Foster would actually go through with their December pledge to attend the same college. Following Foster’s latest visit to Athens, Matthews said an agreement has been made.
“We are having fun, but we talked last night and we really know where we want to go,” Matthews said. “We both decided on a school and we are the only two that know. A couple of people are not going to like the decision, but we have to do what is best for us. “
Matthews says they will make their announcement together before the beginning of the season, and he feels two others could be joining them.
Foster committed to Alabama last July, shortly after visits to Auburn and Georgia. Matthews admits his close friend has struggled with his decision.
“Georgia, Alabama and Auburn are all going hard after Reuben, so it is really tough for him, but me and my family are here for him. We know what school is best for him and he really knows what school is best for him.”
Last weekend saw Foster make a trip to Athens, his second in June. Matthews was not there to join him, but the two kept in constant contact during this visit.
“Reuben was texting me the entire time and the first thing he said was that it went really well and he felt like he was really wanted at Georgia,” Matthews said. “He said he had a great feeling about it.”
For months it was a two-team battle, but with Foster moving out of state during the spring, a third team has emerged as a serious contender for the coveted defensive duo.
“I visited Auburn a couple weeks ago and I had a really good time,” Matthews said. “It was probably one of my best visits. We had some funny times and some unbelievable moments. I talk to Coach Trooper Taylor all of the time and he is one of the funniest people I have ever met. He fits in well with me and my family. Coach Taylor had me and my parents and my sister crying from laughing so much.”
The possibility of the Tigers snagging Matthews would likely upset several coaches in Athens, as well as at least one member of the Matthews household.
“My mom will support me wherever I go, but she would be very disappointed if I went to Auburn instead of Georgia,” Matthews said.
It looks like Foster and Matthews will get several chances to hang out again in July.
“I will visit Auburn when I get back from The Opening with Reuben, and maybe two or three times before the season starts,” Matthews said. “I will be at Dawg Night. It will be another good chance to recruit and see what we got. Me and Reuben were talking about maybe getting out there and competing as well.”
Following his latest trip to Georgia, Foster had maintained his commitment to Alabama. Matthews, the No. 115 prospect in the country, did the same Monday night.
“I am still very committed and Georgia is always going to be my family,” Matthews said. “Me and Reuben both feel the coaching staff at this school we selected is why we agree on a college. Alabama, Auburn and Georgia all have great coaches and great defenses, so either way we go we are not going to lose.”
Either way, if Foster and Matthews want to play together at the next level, something has got to give.
Four-star Safety Tray Matthews (Newnan, Ga./Newnan) and five-star linebacker Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) have been best friends since middle school.