Joe Mathis went to the UCLA game Saturday night and saw an entirely different Bruins' team upset Nebraska, one with a lot more fire and determination on the field and one that is under consideration in his recruitment.
The Upland, Calif., four-star defensive end said he loves how UCLA is playing this season with more discipline, toughness and aggression and he's going to take a closer look at the Bruins as the process continues.
"The environment was really cool," Mathis said. "There were some crazy fans who knew who I was and they went all crazy. It was cool down there.
"The team looks way better. Coach (Jim) Mora changed the program a lot. They're more disciplined, they're more into the game, even people on the sidelines are into the game and they have more fire for the game.
"When I saw that it was really cool to finally see a team that plays like that."
Mathis, rated as the No. 10 strong-side defensive end and No. 151 in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, has a long relationship with UCLA assistant coach Demetrice Martin from his time on Washington's coaching staff.
Mathis, a 6-foot-4, 243-pound prospect who can also play some linebacker, had been committed to the Huskies early in his recruitment. That relationship could pay dividends for the Bruins this time.
"It plays a factor," Mathis said.
"At first he was the only reason I was showing interest because he was one of the first recruiters to show me I'm a good player. That's why I like him. Now I like the way they play and they're cool."
As for official visits, Mathis said his first one will probably be to Texas A&M but he's unsure of the date. Trips to Washington and now Utah are also expected. Mathis will figure out the other two later.