EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings used their third-round pick to add to their running backs room with Boise State’s Alexander Mattison.
Minnesota initially was slated to make the 81st overall selection but made some trades – four times, to be exact – and ended up grabbing Mattison at the 102nd spot.
Mattison played three seasons for the Broncos and became the first Boise State player to lead the conference in a season by totaling 1,415 rushing yards as a junior in 2018.
“I think my versatility [is a strength],” Mattison told Twin Cities media members via conference calls. “I also think I’m a smart football player, and I make great decisions when I’m on the field and am very instinctive. Along with that, that versatility kind of pays off, and that makes me the back that I am.”
Here are five things to know about the Vikings newest running back:
1. Standing out at Boise State
Mattison ranked eighth in the country in rushing yards last season. His 17 touchdowns led the Mountain West conference and ranked seventh in FBS. He posted six 100-yard rushing games, including games against Utah State and Fresno State in which he surpassed 200 yards on the ground each time.
Mattison finished his collegiate career with 2,829 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns on 581 rushes. He added 60 passes for 511 yards and a score for the Broncos.
2. Spanish-speaking scholar
As a first-grader, Mattison joined the Dual Immersion Program at his school. He remained a part of the program through graduation and is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Mattison was faced with a decision of transferring to a high school more heavily recruited by Division I schools or remaining at San Bernardino High School (California). He opted against leaving the school – and Dual Immersion Program – and went on to graduate with a cumulative 4.7 GPA. He was named a 2016-17 Academic All-Mountain West team.
3. Multi-sport athlete
While attending San Bernardino High School, Mattison was twice named to the San Bernardino Sun First Team (2014-15). He racked up 2,017 and 2,057 yards on the ground as a junior and senior, respectively. Following his senior season, he was selected to play in the Inland Valley Football Classic.
Mattison won a league wrestling title at 195 pounds and as a junior was named all-league. He also ran track, winning the Mountain Valley League title in the 110 hurdles.
4. California kid
Mattison joins six other Vikings on the current roster who hail from California: LB Anthony Barr (San Pedro), LB Eric Kendricks (Fresno), QB Sean Mannion (Pleasanton), P Matt Wile (San Diego), TE Cole Hikutini (Elk Grove) and LB Derron Smith (Banning).
Mattison’s hometown is located just 31 miles from Smith’s hometown and 78 from Barr’s.
View images of Vikings new RB Alexander Mattison who was selected in the third round.
During high school, Alexander was consistently involved with his church, serving as an usher and media volunteer. He participated in the Power to Change Movement and was featured as a speaker at the Integrated New Families Opportunity graduation at Ecclesia Christian Center in 2015.
He credited his Christian faith for helping him and his family make it through difficult circumstances when he was young.
“I think part of the reason I did make it out was through a strong faith in God. We went to church every Sunday as a family,” Mattison said in October 2018. “Looking back at that, it’s the times you cherish the most; when you remember not wanting to go to church and now you wish you could be home to go to church with your family again. I would say faith played a big role in just keeping my head level and on the right path.”