FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas is among the schools already offering Klein (Texas) Cain Class of 2022 four-star wide receiver Matthew Golden a scholarship.
Golden has earned 11 offers so far with many more certain to come. He helped lead Cain to an 8-3 record and 5-1 second-place finish in the district. Golden rushed eight times for 43 yards and a pair of touchdowns while catching 43 passes for 1,027 yards and seven touchdowns with a long of 85 yards. He also averaged 15.2 yards on 13 kickoff returns and 10.7 on three punt returns. In addition, he averaged 40.2 yards on 18 punts with a long of 68 and one inside the 20.
“I feel like my season went great,” Golden said. “We had to overcome a lot of stuff this season. I checked off all my stats that I wanted to get off this year so we just came out and did what we’re supposed to do.”
That followed a 2019 season that saw Golden rush nine times for 19 yards and two touchdowns, catch 50 passes for 799 yards and 13 touchdowns, return seven kickoffs for 172 yards and five punts for 80 yards. While COVID hampered seasons everywhere, Golden said his school was very fortunate in that regard.
“COVID didn’t really effect us,” Golden said. “We only missed one game, but everything else was good.”
In addition to Arkansas, Golden has offers to Arizona, Indiana, Houston, Colorado, Texas-San Antonio, Memphis, North Texas, Southern Miss, Kansas and Tulsa.
“Recruiting is going good,” Golden said. “There’s been a lot of coaches reaching out and talking to me. A lot of relationships being built with different schools. I’m just trying to pick what is best for me.”
While Justin Stepp offered Golden on Dec. 4, it is now Kenny Guiton recruiting him for the Razorbacks. Stepp left for South Carolina. Guiton was hired from Colorado State by Sam Pittman the next day.
“Yes sir, Coach Kenny reached out to me two days ago,” Golden said. “We’ve been talking ever since then. He’s filling a big spot because Coach Stepp when he was the first who recruited me at Arkansas. Since he left Coach Kenny took his spot.”
Golden offered his thoughts on Guiton.
“Coach Kenny he’s a good dude,” Golden said. “Seems like a good dude. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s a good dude. He talks a lot about getting me the ball. How they throw the ball and he keeps talking about how he can see me in their offense.”
Golden is very familiar with Kendal Briles’ offense at Arkansas as well.
“I’m used to it,” Golden said. “We pretty much run the same offense in high school. The up-tempo offense, no huddle. I’m used to it. I could see myself in it.”
ESPN ranks Golden the No. 36 wide receiver in the nation and No. 38 recruit in Texas in the Class of 2022. Golden explained what he thinks are his strengths at wide receiver.
“My route running,” Golden said. “My speed. I can create space with the ball in my hands. That’s something a lot receivers can’t really do. I think that’s what separates me from other receivers.”
Arkansas went 3-7 this season against an all-SEC schedule. Golden sees the program headed in the right direction under Pittman and his staff.
“I really think COVID took a big effect on their season,” Golden said. “Some players missed out and some players didn’t play. Other than that, but next year I think they will come out even harder. They will be better.”
A pair of players at Arkansas who really caught Golden’s eye are Treylon Burks and Mike Woods, two wide receivers.
“Those guys, I like those guys a lot,” Golden said. “I see how much they get the ball. That’s real good. That’s something I’m looking forward to.”
Golden talked about what he’s looking for in a college as well.
“I want to go somewhere they like to throw the ball a lot,” Golden said. “Put the ball in receiver’s hands a lot. Somewhere I have a good relationship with the coaches. Somewhere I have good relationships thats got good people who want to see me win and accomplish my goals.”
Golden also talked about how much distance to home will factor into his decision when it comes time to choose a college.
“I haven’t really thought about that yet,” Golden said. “I’ll narrow that down when I start thinking my decision on where I want to go.”
The NCAA hasn’t allowed any off-campus visits since March due to COVID. When and if that restriction is lifted the Hogs could be in line for a visit from Golden.
“Yes sir,” Golden said. “That’s one I really want to go to.”