No running back has climbed up 2019 NFL Draft boards like this former Boise State Broncos star. Picking apart his brain and exchanging a conversation was a true pleasure.
Forrester Solmen: My first question, seeing we’re both about to go workout, what’s your favorite workout you have and what do you enjoy about working out in general?
Alexander Mattison: I like to work on explosiveness, Vertimax, deadlifts, workouts with bar speed like bench with Tendo or squat with Tendo and hang cleans.
FS: Well it’s easy to see you work on stuff like that considering how explosive you are on tape. What sort of things do you feel like you excel at and what separates you from the rest of the running backs in this draft class?
AM: I think something that sets me apart is my football IQ. I play very instinctively and I’m a versatile back. I’m not just a power back and I’m not just elusive. I feel like I bring a mix of everything to the table. I play fast and physical and I am a student of the game so I’ll never be satisfied and I always work to improve.
FS: You are very decisive when it comes to your running style and very smart when it comes to seeing the field. Seeing you have that workman-like mentality and you’re always trying to be a student of the game, what sort of things have you noticed about your game that you think you could tweak and make better?
AM: I always beat myself up on small details and being the best all-around player possible on every down. So, just consistency, especially in pass protection. Just being very consistent and great in pass protection and top-end speed.
FS: Although having top-end speed is a nice added bonus, at the end of the day, guys like you are the ones that make it in this league because you GET IT DONE and you’re tough as nails. I see a mix of Le’Veon Bell and Kareem Hunt to your game. Those guys aren’t speedsters but they just get it done themselves. Is there a particular player(s) you study and like to pattern your game after?
AM: Growing up, I watched a lot of Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson, Jamal Charles and I kind of took a little from each and tried to make it my own.
FS: I can see that actually. Those are all quality backs. Speaking of, a lot of good runners have come from Boise State. You are definitely one of the best to suit up there. What was it like playing for a school with such an impressive lineage of solid running backs and how well did that system prepare you for the NFL?
AM: It was a great experience and just to be in the same program and follow in those guys’ footsteps and have the opportunity to leave my legacy along with those who came before me was an honor. I definitely think they prepared me well for the NFL with the blue-collar mindset and culture and the NFL style offense we ran. I’m grateful for everything I learned and everything I experienced during my time there.
FS: You definitely are blue-collar all the way. You’re the definition of a workhorse back. You were the Bronco of that team, down an impressive stretch where you literally carried the team with 10 consecutive games of 20+ carries. How were you able to boss up like that?
AM: I love this game, I love my team, and I love to win. In the moment it didn’t feel as though I was taking the heavy load and being the work horse. When people bring up the stats and state the facts about it, I look back and see it now, but in the moment, it was everything. I wanted to contribute and help my team win.
FS: Another thing you were able to do is play in every single game possible. I don’t know too many, if any, running backs who managed to do that in this entire draft class but you did. How were you able to stay healthy despite so many touches and games?
AM: I focused a lot on keeping my body healthy and spending extra hours in the training room, extra workouts and just taking care of my body, all-around. I think it was a mix of hard work paying off and also genetically blessed to be able push through that injury free and continue to play at a high level. (LOL)
FS: What have you been doing for fun outside of football?
AM: I don’t do much in my free time besides get extra treatments like massages, float therapy, acupuncture, things like that and just focused on recovery.
FS: Sounds lavish my friend. You don’t mess around when it comes to taking care of yourself. Keep that up. Seeing you go that extra mile to ensure you’re in peak condition, what’s one or some personal expenditures you’re going to make once you sign that rookie deal?
AM: Honestly, I’m looking forward to saving as much as I can and investing. (lol) Most people might talk about buying their mom a house or car but I’m focused on setting myself and my family up for generations, not just now. So, I’ll keep it small and probably dive into spending money later down the road not off the first go-around.
FS: (Haha) Smart man. You were raised well. I’m so glad I bumped into your dad on Twitter. It’s because of him I had this opportunity to connect with you. Of course you were gracious enough to speak with me and I’m very grateful for that. You are a very generous person in general. I saw that you’re apart of Game Changers Idaho. Tell me more about that and why you do it.
AM: Of course! It’s my pleasure. It is a nonprofit organization and one of our chaplains for the team invited me out for their tryouts for their flag football league for special needs children. So, I went out and helped run the running back drills and gave some words of motivation at the end!
FS: Wow that hits home, man. My brother is autistic and I am a Christian myself. Serving others is very rewarding. I commend you for doing that work. You have my support through your life journey. I know you’ll do great in the NFL and beyond. Thank you for talking with me Alexander. God bless you and your family. Reach out to me anytime. Can’t wait to congratulate you when you’re drafted!
AM: Thank you, I really appreciate it! God bless you and thank you! It was my pleasure.