Incoming freshman quarterback Morgan Newton worked out with Matthews this summer. He's a believer, too.
"The guy can really catch. He's big and fast, but the most impressive thing is that if you just get the ball near him, he's going to catch it," Newton said.
It was hard to say that about any Kentucky receiver other than Dicky Lyons last year - and that made it hard for the UK offense to sustain drives.
"I don't see any reason to feel pressure. I just came here to play and do the same things I have always done," Matthews said. "I feel like I can catch the ball against anybody. That's just the way I am. I believe in what I can do.
"I hope my size and speed will let me adjust and get ready to play. My goal is to be ready by the first game. I believe I can do that. I can't have any doubts about my ability or I would not be able to do it."
Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has tried to be somewhat guarded in his evaluations of Matthews. After all, remember it took Stevie Johnson, another junior college transfer, until the end of his first season to make a big impact at UK and he's now in the NFL. However, UK also had Keenan Burton, Jacob Tamme and Dicky Lyons making plays at the time. There's no indication the Wildcats have another marquee receiver to keep Matthews watching from the sideline.
"We have a month before we open and then we have a week off before we play our second game. I don't know that he will hit the ground running by the first game," Brooks said. "I would hope by second, third or fourth game, he will have a total grasp and feel comfortable in the offense.
"There is no question about ability and size. He brings something we don't have in size. He is 6-6 and can run and catch. We have to get him comfortable so can play without thinking about it."
Whether he's 6-5 as listed or 6-6 as Brooks said, he's plenty big. He'll give UK the same type of receiver that often has gone over UK cornerbacks or safeties to make game-changing catches for many, many years.
"How can you not like him?" Phillips said. "But he still has to show us he can do it on the field."
Matthews is taking nothing for granted. He said all the right things Friday.
"I knew there was an opportunity to play here, but the other receivers that are back are all great players, too. They have impressed me with the things they can do. I think we have a lot of really good receivers out here," Matthews said.
Nothing wrong with being tactful and a good teammate. However, Kentucky doesn't have a big-play receiver returning and to have another winning season, the Cats desperately need Matthews to emerge as a go-to guy no matter who is playing quarterback.
"From what I have seen, he's going to be a huge asset," UK sophomore receiver Randall Cobb, who can also play quarterback, said. "He's just one of those guys you look at and like. Then you see him run and catch and you know you like him even more."
Matthews got the same feeling early about liking Kentucky. He says he first heard of UK football because of Johnson and Burton making game-winning plays. The more he watched, the more interested he became in the Cats.
But what convinced him UK was the right spot for him was the approach Brooks and Phillips took in his recruiting.
"They said they were going to teach me first and then coach me. Nobody else said it like that and it made a lasting impression on me that let me know this is where I should be," Matthews said. "