While former UGA defensive back Shaq Wiggins was being thrown out of a Louisville football practice by Bobby Petrino, another former Bulldog was earning praise from his new coach.
Tray Matthews, who is in the running to start at safety for Auburn this fall, has caught the eye of new defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, himself a former UGA safety.
“A guy that obviously has made some mistakes, learned from his mistake and moved on from those,” Muschamp told AL.com. “But I’ve been pleased with his maturity level.”
Mark Richt kicked Matthews off the team last summer, two months after he was arrested and charged with misdemeanor theft by deception for allegedly double-dipping school-issued financial-aid checks by cashing them twice.
Matthews, a highly recruited DB out of Newnan, played in eight games as a freshman in 2013, finishing with 36 tackles, one interception and one forced fumble.
He transferred to Auburn and sat out last season. Wiggins and safety Josh Harvey-Clemons, who also transferred to Louisville, were also a part of the 2013 defensive backfield.
More of Muschamp’s comments on Matthews:
- “Football’s important to him. He’s constantly in the building watching film, asking questions. Works hard on the practice field.”
- “Tray’s a very physical player, I saw that in bowl practice, enjoys contact. An instinctive player that’s played a lot of football.”
Returning starting safety Johnathan “Rudy” Ford said: “Tray has been great, very physical in contact. He’s going to be a great player playing alongside of him. He’s going to help us out a whole lot.”