Diamond in the Rough: RB Cristian Matthews

Cristian Matthews is a 5’8” 165lbs running back for Breaux Bridge High School. Don’t let that size fool you, Cristian is a hard runner who can bulldoze through defenders with his physical strength and determination. Rushing for over 1300 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground this season, Cristian has been one of the biggest highlights on the Tiger’s offense. Out of the nine games he has played, he has had seven games with over 100 yards. Averaging 6.7 YPC this season, the senior running back has shown consistent flashes of his ability to move the chains with his legs. Cristian can also be utilized in the passing game with around 50 yards on the season and a touchdown although he is mainly a full-time power runner for his team. He looks to continue his dominating season this week with his last game being against Livonia.

Photo by Mike Coppage

I recently had an interview with Tigers running back Cristian Matthews:

Q: When did you start playing football?

“I was five when I started playing flag football.”

Q: What are your hobbies off of the football field?

“Sleeping in late, Haha, and, of course, exercising and training my body.”

Q: What is your favorite football memory?

“Playing foobtall with my brothers when we were little.”

Q: Have you always played running back? If not, what other position have you played, and how have they helped you in your running back career?

“I used to play all over the defensive side of the ball. I played linebacker, free and strong saftey, cornerback, and defensive end. These positions on the defensive side of the ball help myself with speed and vision. Both of these things I use on the offensive side of the ball, playing running back.”

Q: How do you balance your academic career to your athletic career?

“I try to get ahead of my work early so I have more time to do the work itself, and to train and excersice if I’ve finished early.”

Q: What are your biggest strengths on the football field?

“My biggest strength for myself on the football field has to be my endurance. I put in 110% for all four quarters.”

Q: What have you worked on over the offseason to improve your game?

“The two main things that I have worked on to improve my game in the offseason was my technique and ball security.”

Q: What have you learned about yourself while playing football?

“I’ve learned throughout my years of playing to never quit, even when it is hard, and, also, to always give my best effort on and off the field.”

Q: Besides football, do you play any other sports? And, if yes, how have they help your football game?

“The other sports that I am involved in is powerlifting and track. These two sports help with my football career by helping me focus on my strength and speed.”

Q: What is your favorite accomplishment so far in your football career?

“My favorite accomplishment is happening right now in my football career. Reaching 1,300 yards rushing this year, so far, has been great, and I still have a lot more yards to get before the season is over.”

Q: What is your personal goal for the season?

“My goal this season is what it is every season, play to my full potential and make sure I put everything I have into each game.”

Q: How much do you view the importance of pass blocking?

“It’s important. Pass blocking is just as important as running. You must be able to block to run. I take blocking very seriously to help my team when the ball is not in my hand.”

Q: Would you say you are a power back, elusive back? And why?

“I’d have to say I am a power back. I use my physicality and strength to run through anyone that is in front of me. I think “

Q: What is your favorite type of play to run?

“I love those tough runs fighting for every yard. Being physical and running through opponents is my favorite thing to do.”

Q: Who would you say your biggest role model is?

“I would say my biggest role madels are my family, coaches, and friends. All of them that support me every day.”
Photo by Robin May

Q: What do you think you still need to improve on throughout the remainder of this season?

“Possessing the ball. I never want to fumble the ball, so i need to make sure I hold on to that ball through all the contact throughout the rest of the season.”

Q: Are there any current NFL or college players that you like to study their film or model your game after?

“The players that I model my game after are Nick Chubb, Alvin Kamara, and Derrick Henry. Those players play tough and physical, and it takes a lot to take them down.”

Q: How would your teammates describe you?

“The would describe me as one of the most dominant players on the team. I’ve worked so hard to get where I am now and I use my talents during every game to take control of the game.”

Q: How was the recruiting process for you?

“The recruiting process hasn’t been the best for me. I have not received any offer at the moment, but I am still working hard and having one of my best seasons at the moment. The dominant performance I am having will hopefully show school my talents and make them interested in me.”

Q: What is something you want all college coaches to know about you?

“I want every college coach out there to know that if I join your college I am going to bring EVERYTHING I have for them. I want to play in the next level and will do anything for the team I’d be playing for to help win.”