Last season, Jake Matthews saw action in 11 games for the Arizona Wildcats, racking up 29 total tackles, one tackle for loss, and one sack.
Starting in 11 days, it's likely that Matthews will get the opportunity to play in more than just eleven games this year.
A star baseball player at Ironwood Ridge in Oro Valley, Matthews walked on to the Arizona football team, but no longer has that status after a productive spring.
"I didn't really feel like I was any different than any scholarship kid to be honest," Matthews said earlier this fall. "The only thing I wasn't getting was the checks, but that's changed, and it feels good to be believed in."
So there must have been this pretty awesome meeting or presentation when it happened, right? Well...
"I was on my way to California because we were on break, and (Rich Rodriguez) called me and said 'Hey Jake, I just want to let you know we're putting you on scholarship' and I almost broke down. It was a great moment."
"It felt amazing," he continued. "It was just such an honor to call my dad and my mom at first, and it was amazing. They were so proud and it's a big honor to know that the coaches believe in you."
Now on scholarship, and the owner of a much bigger, stronger body, Matthews is looking to make a pretty big impact at linebacker for Arizona.
"We're the third year guys, and you need to be expecting more," he explained. "We'll definitely have a little more of a role and we'll be a little better, so that'll help a lot."
He, along with DeAndre' Miller, Derrick Turituri, and of course Scooby Wright III will be looked upon to make plays on a regular basis. And having a bunch of three-year guys who have proven themselves already is certainly a step in the right direction for the Wildcats.