UNC running back welcomes advice of father

Updated: August 16, 2003, 8:14 PM ET

GREELEY, Colo. -- Having a father with a distinguished collegiate career at Colorado and an NFL career with the San Diego Chargers is helping Adam Matthews.

The Northern Colorado running back welcomes and listens to his father, Bo Matthews.

"My dad has had a real good affect on me and keeps me focused," said Matthews, who ran for a 12 touchdowns and school-record 1,372 yards last year. "I believe what he's saying because he's been there. I believe him because I've seen the footage of him playing."

Matthews and his father often sit down for a post-game session.

"When we are watching a game he will evaluate that game and tell me I should have done this," Matthews said. "If he would have gone there this would have happened."

The two couldn't be more different in running style. Bo Matthews was a rugged 6-foot-2-inch 228 pounder that ran people over while Adam Matthews is more compact, eluding and outrunning defenders.

"He was more of a bulldozer," Matthews said. "I am more of a finesse player."

Matthews used the off season to improve his speed with strenuous speed drills. All to match or improve on his past accomplishments.

"There's always room for improvement," he said. "I want to break every record that I broke. I want to do better than I've done."

It's music to the ear of UNC coach Kay Dalton, who knows the Bears need every bit of offense in their first season at Division 1-AA.

"Adam is as good a back as we've ever had here," Dalton said. "We need him because it's going to be a challenge for us as a team."

Matthews said he tried football on his own in eighth grade and enjoyed it, never being pressured by his father.

Neither was he directed to be a running back, but chose the position himself and led all Colorado 5A high school runners with 1,845 yards as a senior. He also played defensive back.

And when it became time to choose a school, the elder Matthews stayed in the background.

"Dad let me do my own thing," Matthews said. "I came here."

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index