FORT PAYNE — The tradition continues.
Fort Payne senior Matthew Shaddix will follow in his family’s footsteps to Jacksonville State University next fall. The two-sport athlete signed a national letter of intent to play football for the Gamecocks during a signing ceremony at Fort Payne High School on Tuesday afternoon.
“It’s so awesome, being able to sign with Jacksonville State,” Shaddix said.
Shaddix’s family all has ties to JSU. His dad, Heath, played football at JSU after a high school career at Fort Payne. His mom, Lisa Powell, was a two-sport athlete at JSU, playing volleyball and softball after graduating from Sylvania. His brother, Michael, is a redshirt sophomore offensive lineman with the Gamecocks’ football team and also graduated from Fort Payne.
Not only will Shaddix’s signing with the Gamecocks add to his family’s history with the university, but it will also reunite him with his brother.
Shaddix said he will compete for a starting wide receiver position and potentially take the field with his brother soon.
“Getting to play with Michael is going to be really fun,” he said.
When one of JSU’s recruits walked on at Auburn, it opened a spot and a scholarship. Assistant head coach Jimmy Ogle called Shaddix and asked him to come for an official visit.
“I really wasn’t expecting to get any scholarship money, but they offered me something that I couldn’t pass up,” Shaddix said.
With his family so connected with JSU, the university always felt like a second home to him, Shaddix said.
“It wasn’t a very hard decision,” he said.
Shaddix excelled during his time at Fort Payne as a two-sport athlete in football and track.
Shaddix said he has an interest in studying criminal justice at the university, but hasn’t committed to any particular program of study.
“He’s going to be successful in anything he does,” Fort Payne coach Chris Elmore said. “He was a great player for us, played almost every position. As hard of a worker as he was, he was an even better teammate, and a better person.”