Junior college defensive back Michael Mathis didn't sign with Kentucky as expected in February, but he's still planning to be a Wildcat in the fall.
Mathis, who committed to UK in September, told the Herald-Leader on Monday that someone from UK's coaching staff called him about a week before national signing day on Feb. 5 and said they were planning on taking someone else to fill out the 28-player class. He said that since he was not on pace to graduate from Kilgore College (Texas) in the spring, the UK coaches told him they would continue to monitor his academic situation.
"They wanted to make sure I graduated," he said. "Since I was graduating in the summer, they wanted to sign 28 kids. I took a step back and let them sign 28 kids."
Mathis told the Herald-Leader that he's now scheduled to complete his classes at Kilgore in early July and plans to be on UK's campus a few days later. He said he will be part of next season's team as a scholarship player.
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UK's coaches are not allowed to comment on Mathis until he signs.
The Crosby, Texas, native has stayed in contact with UK defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot and cornerbacks coach Derrick Ansley, and he is expecting a visit from Eliot later this week.
Mathis has also stayed in touch with former Kilgore teammates Steven Borden and Joey Herrick, who are now at UK. He tweeted over the weekend about following the Blue-White Spring Game online and added that he can't wait to join Borden and Herrick in Lexington.
The 6-foot-2, 225-pounder is considered a three-star prospect by ESPN and 247Sports. He was listed as a cornerback at Kilgore but said UK's coaches have also talked to him about playing safety and possibly linebacker. Mathis had four interceptions and seven pass breakups in nine games as a sophomore.