Penn Hills’ Mathis looks forward to college career at William & Mary
By: Andrew John
Thursday, December 20, 2018 | 8:09 PM
In mid-May, Penn Hills senior quarterback Hollis Mathis wanted to make sure his college recruitment wasn’t a distraction during his final season for the Indians. Mathis announced his verbal commitment to Howard.
While Mathis was leading the Indians to WPIAL and PIAA titles, Howard’s head coach Mike London left the program to become the head coach at William & Mary on Nov. 19.
With this head coaching change, Mathis and many other Howard verbal commits decided to re-open their recruitment process.
However, Mathis’ search for a new school wasn’t difficult since he loved the Howard staff and decided to officially sign his letter of intent with William & Mary last Wednesday at Penn Hills.
“I can’t wait to be part of the team. It’s finally putting pen to paper and I will finally part of the Tribe,” Mathis said.
“It’s a great feeling. I love the campus. I love the school. I love the people down there. I like the coaches. It was an easy decision to sign on the early date. It was an easy choice to where I wanted to go.”
According to 247sports, Mathis is a three-star recruit and is ranked the 63rd-best pro-style quarterback in the nation.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback finished the season with 2,800 passing yards with 40 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Mathis, who was a Big 56 Class 5A Northern Conference all-conference first-team selection, finished with 468 yards on the ground.
William & Mary, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, finished 4-6 overall with a 3-4 conference record.
As Mathis led the Indians to their first WPIAL and PIAA titles since 1995, the two-year starter made sure to not make his personal recruitment a distraction in order to give his teammates his full attention.
“I made it a point to make sure no matter what was going on outside the locker room it had nothing to do with what business we needed to take care of. There were a lot of things I knew couldn’t take my attention and my personal recruitment was one of those things that couldn’t take my attention,” Mathis said.
“I completely set that aside for the betterment of the team because I knew that you only get a chance like this once in a lifetime. I didn’t want to put that in jeopardy for anybody else on the team.”
When Mathis was alerted of the coaching change at Howard, he knew he wanted to follow the coaching staff to William & Mary but waited to visit the campus until the day after the PIAA Class AAA championship game.
Mathis felt comfortable with the offense London runs under offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Brennan Marion, a Greensburg Salem graduate.
“It was important for me to play in the right offense. It was important to me that I knew the people I would be playing for the next four years. It was also important to me that I knew where I was living the next four years,” Mathis said.
“It was very important for me to get to know what Williamsburg, Va. had to offer. I already knew I loved the coaches, I just wanted to make sure where I liked where they are at now and I truly do.”
Senior running back Terry “Tank” Smith, who previously committed to Howard, also re-opened his recruitment due to the coaching change.
In addition to Mathis, teammate Dante Cephas signed a letter of intent to play at Kent State.
Andrew John is a freelance writer.
Tags: Penn Hills