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BROOKSVILLE - Matt Breida woke up feeling nervous.
The Nature Coast running back had been quietly committed to Georgia Southern, but other schools had been chasing him in the run toward signing day.
Memphis. Boston College. Appalachian State.
If something unexpected broke Wednesday, an offer from one of them could follow.
“You don’t know what can happen in the whole recruiting process,” Breida said. “It’s always like a guessing game.”
Breida ended the game early. He signed with Georgia Southern on Wednesday morning over offers from Toledo, Ball State and UMass.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Breida chose the NCAA Division I-AA power because it is six hours from home, boasts a small, close-knit campus and has a tight team with expanding facilities.
But less than two hours before his ceremony, he still wasn’t sure he wanted to be an Eagle.
Breida met with Sharks coach Charles Liggett and NCT principal Toni-Ann Noyes and spoke on the phone with Tyrail Hawkins, shortly after the Hernando athlete and Georgia Southern signee ended his ceremony.
“He really helped me out,” Breida said. “He’d rather go to a school that wants him rather than going to a school where he’d be second choice or something.”
Just before 10 a.m., Breida finalized his decision and signed with the Eagles. He’ll play running back there in a similar, option-based run game that helped the two-star recruit rush for 37 touchdowns and more than 3,000 yards in his last two high school years.
An hour after his college choice was made, Breida said he wasn’t second-guessing his decision. The stress and fears had subsided.
“It’s excitement now,” Breida said. “I’m happy to go.”
For more on Breida, check out this story on him and his adoptive family from October.