Will become Mountaineer after graduation in a move to Morgantown

Instead of a long, drawn out senior season of agonizing over a major decision, Tony Mathis Jr. decided he was going to be proactive.

He announced a couple of weeks ago now on Facebook that following graduation, he planned to make a trip some 607 miles as the crow flies to a place called Morgantown to play college ball at a Division I school.

That’s right Cedartown fans, Mathis is headed to West Virginia University where he’ll be a Mountaineer come the 2019 football season.

Mathis said following Cedartown’s first win of the season where he put up three touchdowns and more than 150 yards of rushing over Alexander that he was excited about his decision.

“It means a lot for me,” he said. “When I went up there, I felt good about it. The coaches are all in with me, so I’m all in with them.”

Mathis, a six-foot, 195 pound running machine for the Bulldogs is considered a top running back in the state and joins a growing list of Cedartown graduates who will be taking their talents on the gridiron to big named schools.

He said in his announcement on Facebook on Aug. 23 that his career in Cedartown has been “an amazing journey” and that he wanted to thank every single school that recruited him for the opportunities they sought to provide.

Mathis also had high praise for coaches who have helped him develop along the way, and family and friends both on and off the field.

“Everyday my love for this game has (grown),” Mathis said. “All my hard work and dedication have paid off in many ways, but this is only the beginning.”

His commitment came just in time for him to show off just why he is a big time player ready to excel at the next level on the Division I level.

Though he didn’t rack up the big time points against Rockmart he wanted in game 1 of the season, Mathis bounced back in a big way against Alexander in the backfield, with junior Kobe Pryor running his way through the defense as well.

Mathis gave credit to his offensive line and teammates for a positive outing in previous weeks in an interview following 11Alive’s coverage as the Game of the Week.

He said additionally that after Rockmart’s loss, his work on and off the field has increased and given him motivation to shine.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work,” he said. “It’s just now paying off.”

Cedartown’s head coach added his praise for Mathis’ decision.

“Tony Mathis is special… he’s committed to West Virginia and they’ve got themselves a good one,” Coach Doyle Kelley said. “I’m very blessed to be able to call him one of my players.”