LEESVILLE, LA (KPLC) - Leesville offensive tackle Matthew Anderson loves the mauling and mashing that comes with playing offensive line. So it came at little surprise Friday when the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Wampus Cat chose to commit to a smash-mouth program like Nebraska. He made the announcement on his Twitter.
Anderson wanted the day to be special because June 22 was his first birthday without his mother. Denise Anderson passed away in February after a third chemotherapy treatment for stage four breast cancer.
"I was really dreading the day and I didn't want to do anything or have anyone know it was my birthday. Not to have her here to celebrate my birthday was definitely a very sad moment for me," admitted Anderson. "I felt like I needed a little bit more positivity today to get through the day because it is a hard day not having my mom here."
The relationship between mother and son is what motivates Anderson to keep striving.
"She was my best friend and she went to every one of my games, even when she was sick. To see her battle through there and see her drive to watch me, it makes me not want to be mediocre in anything I do."
As a three-star lineman, Anderson isn't considered mediocre on the recruiting circuit. His lean frame allows him to be more athletic than most offensive lineman and Nebraska's history with producing top-flight big men attracted him right away.
"Nebraska is known for its lineman and the pipeline with all the Remington and Lombardi trophies," said Anderson. "I'm looking forward to seeing how they are going to use me with my athleticism as an offensive lineman."
Former Husker Scott Frost was hired to be Nebraska's coach in December after leading UCF to an undefeated season. With his return to the Cornhusker State, Anderson believes returns the Nebraska of the 1990s.
"They have had some down years, but with Coach Frost and Coach Austin and all the other coaches that have come into the program, I know for a fact they will get back to [smash-mouth football]. They haven't necessarily lost that style of play, but I feel like they may have lost the meaning and that's what they are getting back to."
Anderson helped Leesville to a 10-2 record in 2017 and a district title. The Wampus Cats averaged 175 yards per game on the ground with Anderson anchoring the line.
With his commitment, Nebraska's 10-man recruiting class sits as the 32nd ranked class in the country according to 247Sports.