Huskers win TCU transfer of Ochaun Mathis’ commitment to Texas

The long wait came to an end on Saturday as Ochaun Mathis surprised some and confirmed the sentiment of others when he announced his decision to transfer to Nebraska rather than Texas. The former TCU EDGE defender was not tied to a squad as he has been in the transfer portal since January.

Mathis set April 30 as his announcement date, trimmed his roster in Nebraska and Texas, and made several visits to both schools, including one for the Red-White game earlier in the month, and a few on the Longhorns campus in Austin.

With two hats on the table on Saturday, and thousands logging on to social media to see which one he put on his head, Mathis grabbed a ready-made Husker hat and put it on as a photo of him in a Nebraska uniform was unveiled behind him. .

“The defense is fine with me. They say they’re going to do a lot of good things with me one-on-one, and all that good stuff, so I’m looking forward to it,” Mathis said.

More than 5,000 people saw the announcement on his Twitter feed and probably as many on his Instagram account.

To one fan, he replied, “Yeah, I know you’ve been waiting a long time. Me too, to be honest with you. I’m trying to get that degree first. I’m focusing on that degree so I can direct me to Lincoln.”

The Huskers immediately chased Mathis when he entered the portal and connected with the defender on several things. Above all, the Huskers need help on the edge and on the D-line in general. Second, the Big Ten provides a good training ground for Mathis’ goal of making the NFL. On top of that, the Nebraska-based entities have repeatedly upped the ante on NIL opportunities for a player like him at Lincoln.

Without disclosing her son’s decision, a few days ago Ochaun’s mother, Ochana Daniels, shared on social media what she had seen during the process.

“(One) program stood out more than the other,” she tweeted to a fan. “I observed effective communication and (one) program stood out more than the other. I looked at the faces of the players in each program, I read the body language, I looked to see s “They were happy and mentally happy. A program stood out more.”

It’s a big recruiting win for Nebraska as the Huskers are in a defensive transition with several players out and have also suffered losses up front in the defensive line room, including a recent transfer of Casey Rogers. Mathis is looking to play on the edge — either standing in a 3-4 or with his hand in the dirt in a 4-3 — and the Nebraska defense has several looks at how they can use him.

A product of Manor, Texas, 6-foot-5, 257-pound Mathis enjoyed strong high school recruiting that included signing with TCU in the class of 2018. After a redshirt season, Mathis started every game in 2019, rolling in 40 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. In the shortened 2020 season, Mathis finished with 9 sacks and his output per game led the conference. In 2021, Mathis was selected as an All-Big 12 Second Team for his production which included four sacks and seven more tackles for a loss.

Mathis’ addition is the 11th since the transfer portal since December, as the Huskers rebuilt a roster and used fresh energy and enthusiasm after several high-profile personnel changes in November. The head coach Scott Frost has had four straight losing seasons and the Huskers are looking to make 2022 the year things go in the right direction and now Mathis will be part of the equation.

The announcement was made with his family and friends by his side. Mathis’ dog, Yoda, also made a few cameos. Yoda is coming to Lincoln, of course. Maybe Mathis thinks of it as a one-year situation if things pick up for him at Lincoln the way he hopes, he technically has two years left of college eligibility.

Mathis credited the support he’s received from people in the Austin area, to which his hometown of Manor is primarily tied, as well as those at TCU, where he’s built a resume that has made him the one of the most wanted players on the portal.

“Without that, I don’t think I would have had the same opportunity, so I would say I’m very lucky,” Mathis said.

He also extended his love to “Coach P,” former TCU head coach Gary Patterson, who is actually a special assistant to Steve Sarkisian in Texas now.

“But it’s my own way right now. I’m trying to figure it out. Thank you.”