Ex-CHS standout switches committment to Oregon

CNJ staff

SANTA ANA, Calif. — Former Clovis High School standout Rishard Matthews has verbally committed to play football at the University of Oregon after making an official trip last weekend, according to Rivals.com.

Matthews, who transferred to Saddleback High School in Santa Ana, Calif., one game into Clovis’ season, gave a verbal commitment to the University of Texas-El Paso this summer.

“UTEP was a great school but I just like Oregon a little better,” Matthews told Rivals.com. “It’s the Pac-10 and I wanted the opportunity to play against the best players in the country.”

Matthews can officially sign with Oregon from the first week of February until the first week of April.

At 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds, Matthews played wide receiver and safety for Saddleback. He caught 47 passes for 1,058 yards and 16 touchdowns and added 103 tackles and 12 interceptions.

Matthews told Rivals.com. Oregon recruited him as a straight athlete, and which position he will play in college will be determined by where he fits best in the Ducks system.

“I think right now, the plan is to bring me in as an athlete and see where the bigger need is, but I talked more to the receiver coach and that is where I would love to end up,” Matthews told Rivals.com.

Matthews’ talent is not in question, but his grades are.

“I have to raise my SAT score still,” he said to Rivals.com. “I’ve been working on my core classes a lot and I’m getting good there, but I still want to keep improving so I won’t need to score as high on the test. I have no doubt in my mind that I will be qualified, though.”

In 2005 as a junior at Clovis, Matthews earned Class 5A first-team all-state wide out honors catching 43 passes for 839 yards and 12 touchdowns, and rushed for another eight touchdowns.