College football • Holt, Mathews asked by coaches not to return for senior seasons.
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Provo • Senior Day for the BYU football team during Saturday's 59-13 win over Idaho State included two more send-offs than was originally expected.
Among the 22 players honored after the final home game of the 2013 season against Idaho State were defensive end Austin Holt and combo receiver Marcus Mathews. Both players were listed as juniors when the season began, but will not return next year.
Mathews played in just three games before an illness ended his 2012 season, while Holt got in just four games last year prior to suffering a season-ending injury. Because neither player had used a redshirt year, it was assumed both would ask for, and get, the year back. However, BYU has 31 players coming off LDS Church missions next year and Holt and Mathews were apparently urged by coaches to call it a career.
"Well, I wish I could be here for another year, because I love playing football. I love my teammates and I love being out here with the guys and making memories that are going to last a lifetime," said Mathews, who played tight end due to injuries to regulars Brett Thompson, Kaneakua Friel and Devin Mahina at that position, and caught one pass for 10 yards. "But at the same time, I have a wife and a kid and a bright future ahead of me. I am almost done with school, ready to go onto the next part. That's life sometimes, but I wish I had another year, for sure."
Coincidentally, Holt and Mathews were highly recruited pass-catchers out of Utah's Bingham High and Oregon's Southridge High, respectively, but neither was able to make a huge mark at BYU due to injuries and position switches.
"I found out like three games ago that [coaches did not plan to submit the paperwork to get his year back]," Mathews said. "So this is my senior year now. They decided not to submit it, for whatever reasons."
Holt was moved to defense this season after playing tight end his first two and a half seasons, and couldn't supplant the regulars for more playing time.