Jaden Blackburn and Graham Mathieu. {Courtesy}

By: Matt Rothman

North Broward Prep football officially had a pair of players sign to play college football.

Jaden Blackburn is officially committed to playing college football at Stetson University in Florida.

“I feel blessed like a weight has been lifted off me,” said Blackburn. “A lot of people don’t understand how much pressure athletes are under. It really takes a lot to stay focused mentally.”

Blackburn began playing when he was seven. He originally wanted to be a wide receiver but fell in love with cornerback. He started with the Coconut Creek Eagles for six years before playing for the Coral Springs Chargers.

North Broward Prep Football Stars Jaden Blackburn and Graham Mattieu Make College Picks
Jaden Blackburn. {Courtesy}

Blackburn started his high school career out at Cardinal Gibbons. He played three years with the Chiefs and won two State Championships before playing his final year with the Eagles. NBP won five games this year with Blackburn generally covering  the opposing team’s best receiver. 

Blackburn says he chose to attend Stetson because they exceeded the expectations of what he wanted a college to feel like.

“They took me in and treated me like family,” he added. “The entire coaching staff and players made me feel like I belonged.”

The senior is set to graduate from NBP this spring and compete for a team that went 4-6 a season ago with wins over Concordia, Louisiana Christian, Morehead State, and Presbyterian. Blackburn, though, hopes to continue to improve in all areas.

“I want to be faster, stronger, and smarter than I was yesterday,” Blackburn said. “I know there is no such thing as perfection, but as long as I am chasing perfection, I can stay on top of my game and give Stetson a player they deserve.”

Graham Mathieu will continue his football career at Rochester University in New York

“It’s really exciting, and it’s one of the first major decisions I’ve had to make in my life,” he said. “It feels great to finally know where I’m going, to continue my career for both football and education.”

Mathieu only began playing football when he was in tenth grade. he played for three years on the varsity team and does shot put, discus & javelin for the NBP Track and Field Team. He also was sleeted to play in the Broward Vs. Dade All-Star Game, along with Blackburn and Zandher Mesidort. 

Before even seeing the athletic facilities, Mathieu decided that Rochester was the University for him during the academic presentation on his visit.

“I was amazed by the great academic opportunities that the University offered and the support that both the school and the Coaches provided for the Players, Mathieu added. “The athletic facilities and the passion of the coaching staff sealed the deal.

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Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman
Matt Rothman is a 2018 graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University receiving his bachelor’s degree in journalism and then graduated from the University of Florida as a graduate student.