Due to his team duties and duties on the EYBL circuit, Olive Branch High School's Cameron Matthews has maintained a busy schedule this summer. And his top focus is adjusting to a new role heading into his senior season.
Matthews helped lead Olive Branch to the Class 6A state championship game last season. But the 2020 small forward and 247Composite three-star prospect wasn't always the top option for his team. That honor went to former Olive Branch standout DJ Jeffries, who is entering his freshman season at Memphis.
"Summer has been great so far and we're just trying to get our team better as a group," said the 6-foot-6 and 220-pound Matthews. "I'm trying to be a better leader because last year, I didn't have the big role as I do this year. So I really got to step it up for them.
"DJ really taught me a lot of stuff about being a leader. I am really trying to follow in his footsteps."
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Matthews is rated as the nation's No. 54 small forward and the state's No. 3 prospect by 247Composite. He currently holds offers from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Alabama, Memphis and Florida along with other SEC interest. Matthews noted of his camp stops this summer and what his future schedule includes.
"So far we've been to a Memphis camp, a Mississippi State camp and a Top 100 UnderArmour camp," Matthews said. "The Under Armour camp was alright and I think we still have an Ole Miss camp and a camp at MUS (Memphis University School)."
Matthews and his Olive Branch teammates were in Starkville this past weekend for Mississippi State's team camp. As it's been for a few months now, Matthews noted that the Bulldogs are in communication with him more than other schools and that includes a good relationship with assistant George Brooks.
"Arkansas was my latest offer," said Matthews. "Auburn may be close to offering and that's the main one showing interest that hasn't offered yet. Right now I talk to Mississippi State and Coach Brooks the most. Other schools like Arkansas talk to me a lot but not as much as Mississippi State.
"Coach Brooks tells me all the time how he believes he can get me to the next level. And he believes me and Robert Woodard would be great together."
Last weekend wasn't Matthews' first trip to Starkville and last season he was at a couple of Bulldog home games at Humphrey Coliseum. He talked of that experience and his thoughts on Mississippi State's program and environment.
"What I like is how everybody is like a big family at Mississippi State," added Matthews. "I like how their coaching staff is and I like the community here. I went to a game here last season and I liked the environment. I see a good fit for me there because they play with a lot of energy and that's what I like to do."
Regarding his future at the next level, Matthews has not named a leader or favorites within his recruiting process. The first step is to take in a few official visits and then go from there.
"I'm really not close at all," said Matthews. "I still have to take my visits. Then I will probably make a decision after I take my visits and I will take those visits in the fall. So I want to make my decision not too early but not too late and make it around the early signing period. And the biggest thing for me is how these coaches build a relationship with me and my family."