May 24, 2008

Signee update: Matchett gets ready

Ivan Matchett
Position: Running back. Position Ranking: 17th-ranked running back.
High school: Mobile St. Paul's.
Commitment Date: 3/28/07.
Recruited By: Lance Thompson.

Present size: 5-11, 210 pounds.

Current workout routine: "I'm doing a little bit of everything right now. We're running 110s, we're doing some Olympic lifts in the weight room, just anything to get us ready. We work out five days a week. Right now I'm benching about 355, and when we squat, I'll do about 555."

On a frustrating track season: "I ran track in the spring, but I could only be out there about half the time because I was rehabbing my knee. I had some tendinitis in there [from football season] that was giving me some trouble, but it's all good now. I threw shot, and ran the 4x100. I used to longjump, but I didn't do that this year."

On his reporting date: "I'll be there June 1st."

On his future jersey number: "I'd like to get 21 or 22 if I can. What I really want is 5, but I can't get that with [Roy Upchurch] wearing it right now. I was [21] when I first came into high school, and I had to wait on No. 5 to come open then, too, same situation. So I started out in high school with 21 until I could switch to 5."

On his close relationship with St. Paul's teammate and fellow UA signee Mark Barron: "He's at my house a lot - he's like my brother. I've known him since the 5th grade, so we go way back. We're supposed to be roommates [at Alabama]."

On Barron's athletic skills: "He's a ridiculous athlete, man. Just ridiculous. In my opinion, he was the best player in the state this year, hands down, and I've seen all of [the top players]. To me what really turned our season was Mark in the UMS-Wright game, the third game of the year. That's a big rivalry for us - a lot of passion. And they had a first and goal on our 5-yard line. Mark hadn't played any linebacker all year, but they put him in there at linebacker anyway. And he made four tackles in a row to keep them from scoring. They tried to run it four times in a row on us, and he made every stop and they turned it over."

On when he knew Alabama was right for him: "It was right before spring practice started [in 2007]. I was at home, and I was just thinking about every offer. I had 26 written offers, and Notre Dame was starting to come in, too. But I couldn't really see myself playing anywhere else. I just felt at home at Alabama, so I committed the next day. I did it early so everyone got the hint that I wasn't going to be visiting other schools. LSU and Florida were still coming after me for awhile, but that was about it."

One thing people don't know about you: "I've got a twin sister. Jeanelle, she played basketball at [Mobile] Blount [High]. Growing up, it was crazy. We had to split everything. If someone was supposed to get 100 dollars, it always turned into 50. But you never were alone, and we get along pretty good."

On playing on a state championship team: "It was a blessing. They way we worked to get to that for such a long time, it really just capped off a great year. You can't ask for more."

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