November 2, 2009

Four-star Wells letting season play out

Matthew Wells is doing his best to avoid riding the rollercoaster that is currently carrying the few schools at the head of his recruitment through the 2009 season.

The Monticello (Lawrence County), Miss., Rivals250 athlete has publicly placed Ole Miss and Mississippi State as his co-leaders while still maintaining interest in Tennessee. The three teams have combined for just a 13-12 record.

With each team finding traction at times and facing difficulties at others, Wells is staying focused with the things he is looking for in his next college home. So far, he's resisted the urge to move schools up or down based on that specific week's results.

"Of course I want to go somewhere that wins, but it's about comfort and knowing and getting along with the coaches as well," Wells said. "I don't look at it week-to-week where that one game is going to make a decision. That's a reason for waiting to decide."

Wells, a four-star prospect, has visited the Mississippi schools multiple times and has gotten a solid picture of what the programs offer. Both sets of coaches have effectively stayed in contact with the projected running back and made strong cases for their respective universities. While watching games, Wells is busy watching the running back rotations and seeing how UM and MSU offer playing time to underclassmen. Depth charts are sometimes as important as records.

"I'm being told that running back is where I'll get my chance, but sometimes you have to see for yourself how those things are handled," Wells said. "I've checked on how many other backs are being recruited and what the group will look like next year."

The last two weeks have been split regarding perceived momentum with the two Magnolia State schools. On Oct. 24, Ole Miss pounded Arkansas and seemed to get some swagger back, while the Bulldogs played well but ultimately fell to Florida. Then last Saturday, MSU scored an important conference win over Kentucky, and Ole Miss sloppily succumbed at Auburn.

It is common for fans to feel that each loss dramatically drops chances for certain players, while wins increase the odds, but Wells fails to see it exactly like that.

"It's nice to see wins, and big streaks either way would I guess make a difference, but the teams aren't playing the same teams or facing the same schedule."

But there is one game remaining that could play a key factor in Wells' recruitment - the Egg Bowl in Starkville. It's the only contest currently locked in on Wells' schedule, and the game will give Mississippi's No. 7 overall prospect a chance to analyze both teams and compare on-the-field pros and cons.

"I'm looking forward to the Egg Bowl, because that's a game that's different," Wells said. "It's important to see how the coaching staffs get the teams up for the big game and how they play. You can grade that one a little bit, and it might help with the decision.

"You have to say that day is important."

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