Matt Jimison piling up passing yards


 Matt Jimison piling up passing yards

College football recruiters looking for a quarterback capable of putting the football in the air and lighting up the scoreboard would be wise to take a look at Matt Jimison. As he showed during his junior season at Vista del Lago High School in Folsom, Calif., Jimison is a highly skilled QB who is more than capable of playing at the next level.

Taking over as the Eagles’ starting games three games into his sophomore year, Jimison said the early varsity experience was invaluable to his standout junior season.

“I’m really happy with the way I’ve been progressing,” Jimison said. “As I’ve gotten more experience, I’ve carried more of the offense on my shoulders. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better with reads, checks, just being in control and making the right decisions and making sure the ball gets in the right hands.”

Running out of the spread offense this past season, Jimison led Vista del Lago to a 7-4 record and trip to the playoffs, which ended with a narrow 39-37 loss to Vanden H.S. “It was a really fun season,” he said. “It was good coming in junior year knowing all the guys and all the seniors. We were working really hard coming into the season knowing we were going to throw the ball a lot because we have the guys to do it. We came in and then we really just got riddled with injuries. We always had something going on. Every week we had important guys out, key guys out. The guys who stepped in did a good job pretty much overall. We were close on a couple games that could have been a little bit different, but we worked really hard getting to where we did and it was a really fun year overall.”

State-ranked passer

Jimison wound up ranking 16th in the state of California with 3,238 passing yards to go with 37 TD throws. The 6-foot-2, 200-pounder also ran for 111 yards. “I like to get it in the other guys’ hands,” Jimison said. “I can run quite well, but I’m really into getting the ball into the hands of our athletes and letting them showcase their skills.”

A standout baseball player as well, Jimison was the Eagles’ starting right fielder as a freshman. Following his sophomore season, he decided to play just one sport and that was football. “I really love baseball but football is the road I want to take and I’m just going to put all my effort into that and see how that goes,” Jimison said. “After two years in with baseball I just figured out that football is the road I want to take and I’m going to pursue it.”

As he prepares for his senior year at Vista del Lago, Jimison is already attracting plenty of college attention. “There’s a lot of interest,” he said. “I’m just trying to recover as quick as I can so I can get in front of some people. There’s a lot of talk, I’ve been going to a lot of camps and stuff. Especially with no baseball, it’s just all about lifting and getting ready for these schools. I’m pretty open to anything. I think it’s just me finding the right fit for me and really loving the school. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere just for football and I’m not loving the school. I think it’s finding the right coaching staff and the right offense and fitting in.”

Jimison started working with NFA Director of Player Development Will Hewlett after his eighth grade season and he raved about the experience. “Will’s a great guy,” Jimison said. “He’s helped me out with my mechanics, my footwork, my mental game. He’s helped me out in every way possible. Even outside of football, he’s helped me become a better kid all around. He’s made me a better player.”

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Scot Gregor is an award-winning sportswriter for the Chicago Daily Herald. In addition to writing about Big 10 and Notre Dame football, Gregor has also covered the White Sox, Bears, Blackhawks, Bulls and college basketball. He grew up in Pittsburgh and watched the Steelers rise to prominence in the 1970s. Gregor has a B.S. degree in Journalism from Ohio University