Mario Mathis was stunned when Ole Miss rescinded his scholarship offer last summer. But instead of sulking, the three-star outside linebacker from Thomasville (Ga.) almost immediately started looking for a new school.
Mario Mathis will enroll at UCF next summer.
He found it Monday on a visit to Orlando.
"I committed to UCF today," Mathis told 247sports.
Mathis said the school and its football program are the perfect fit for him.
"I got to talk to Coach [George] O'Leary and it was awesome," Mathis said. "The academics are awesome, too. I just felt like I belonged. It was great."
The 6-feet-1, 220-pound Mathis committed to Ole Miss last May. At that time, he was recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee. After camping with the Rebels in July, Mathis said he was told his offer no longer was there.
Despite that, Mathis continued to talk to Ole Miss, but ultimately determined UCF was his best opportunity.
"I felt like I was going to be their last choice [at Ole Miss]," Mathis said. "I didn't want to wait that long."
UCF offered Mathis two weeks ago.
"I've visited there twice," he said. "The coaches take good care of the kids. They're always on their backs, pushing them, checking up on them. They're really great guys. I like the way they run things there. They're going to make sure you graduate. They told me everything I needed to hear."
The Knights are recruiting Mathis to play H-back and outside linebacker.
He is now 100-percent healthy, and led his team in tackles this season.
"I'm so glad it's all over with now," Mathis said.