KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee commit Matthew Flint knew he wanted to play for the Vols.
He decided Wednesday was the right time to make it public.
“I was just waiting for a sentimental day,” Flint told SEC Country. “It was my first day of school, the last first day of my high school career. I thought it’d be a good day to commit.”
The recruitment process began years ago for Flint, who is an outside linebacker from Gurley, AL., and he formed a bond with the coaches over the years.
“It was basically just the family,” Flint said. “I’m so close with the coaches. I’ve known them since my sophomore year.
“They rejected me my sophomore year with an offer. So, making me have to come back the next year and earn it. I didn’t have enough defense on my film.”
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The coaches wanted to see more from Flint. He took what the coaches told him and worked on it. Tennessee linebacker coach Tommy Thigpen taught Flint how to play linebacker.
“They made me a better player,” Flint said. “They improved me before they started coaching me. So that’s just showing how good I can be playing for him.
“I’ve grown in my knowledge of the game. That’s been the key for me. Understanding coverages and that’s something that’ll take me a long way at the linebacker position with my speed.”
Coach Butch Jones has started talking with Flint more often lately. Thigpen will always be the coach Flint shares the bond with, though.
Flint and Thigpen’s personality match well together.
“He’s just a funny dude,” Flint said. “He loves to talk, loves to eat. I like to talk, I’m a social person it’s just my character.
“There’s never a dull moment with him.”