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Ole Miss has dropped the commitment of '13 Thomasville (Ga.) LB Mario Mathis because it wasn't satisfied with the progress of his rehabilitation after ACL surgery.
Mathis is the brother of recent Clemson walk-on baseball catcher Jake Fletcher. Mario, in fact, was one of the better looking linebacker prospects on the hoof during its June 2011 camps.
But then he played through the knee injury -- doctors had misdiagnosed it, rather -- and now this.
Mario is one of the nicer kids you'll meet. Feel sorry for the young man.
Here's the story from the AJC:
One of Georgia’s top linebackers had his football scholarship revoked by Ole Miss because “they didn’t like progress of his recovery from knee
Lol @ 80% of the comments on that story being about Nkemdiche and his dad.
Writer, Clemson247Sports; Twitter: @RealJacobPutnam; Email: email@example.com
i don't get why you don't let the kid come to school on a non-football scholarship.
This is a very sad story. I've heard three different versions of it to this point. Here's the real story from Marios mom.....
David Johnson2388 posts
By Ron Higgins, Commercial Appeal
The mother of an Ole Miss 2013 football commitment refuted on Tuesday a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that said Rebels’ coach Hugh Freeze revoked her son’s scholarship offer because of a knee injury.
Denise Fletcher, mother of Thomasville (Ga.) High star Mario Mathis, said there has always been an agreement between her son and Ole Miss that the scholarship offer is contingent on his health. He underwent knee surgery for a torn ACL in early January.
When Mathis visited Ole Miss earlier this month at the Rebels’ football camp, it was obvious he was still having difficulty moving. Freeze, in agreement with Mathis and his parents, agreed to release the player from his Rebels’ commitment. The scholarship offer stands if Mathis returns to full strength.
“Ole Miss has never been anything but honest with Mario," Denise Fletcher said. “He’s not guaranteed a scholarship anywhere unless he can play on that leg. You can’t give a scholarship to someone who can’t physically play. It’s ridiculous to think otherwise.”
Mathis is a 6-2, 245-pound three-star rated outside linebacker who runs the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds. He played all last season as a junior on the aching knee, which was misdiagnosed as a sprain. A month after his surgery this past January, he visited Ole Miss on Junior Day and Freeze offered him a scholarship -- conditionally.
When Mathis returned to Oxford a couple of weeks ago and didn’t appear to have much mobility, all parties concerned thought it was best that Mathis de-commit from Ole Miss.
Freeze, per NCAA rules forbidding him to talk about specific recruits, declined comment. But Denise Fletcher said she was impressed with how Freeze has handled her son’s recruitment.
“Let’s say that Mario doesn’t get back to the level of a Division 1 player,” Fletcher said. “Coach Freeze made it very clear he didn’t want to preclude Mario from any scholarship offer, because he wants him to get into college. It’s difficult for Mario to talk to other coaches if he’s still committed to Ole Miss.
“I’m sure Ole Miss knows other schools at this point are calling Mario like crazy. To put his name back out there in recruiting was a big deal. Based on the fact Ole Miss has never been anything but honest with Mario, I assumed they knew that would happen. But Coach Freeze wants the best for Mario.”
Fletcher said she has shielded her son in recent days from media reports attacking Freeze for his alleged scholarship offer revocation. She said her son, who is academically qualified and working to rehabilitate his knee, still wants to be a Rebel.
“It hurts him right now that negative things are being said about people he cares very much about,” Fletcher said. “Mario loves that school and those coaches. They understand Mario’s level of commitment and we understand their level of commitment. He and Ole Miss have nothing but respect for each other. We know it and they know it.”
I've spoken with Mario's mom and Mario on multiple occasions, and both struck me as class acts.
This latest article supports that, IMO.
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