Mickey Matthews admits he's not close friends with Michael Vick.
However, James Madison's football coach has crossed paths with the newest member of the Philadelphia Eagles on several occasions. Matthews said Friday he was happy to see Vick get a second chance.
"Mike Vick's a good kid," Matthews said during his JMU Media Day press conference. "He got too big for his britches."
Vick, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft in 2001 after leaving Virginia Tech, signed a two-year deal with the Eagles Thursday.
Vick hasn't appeared in an NFL game since 2006 because of a 23-month federal sentence on dogfighting charges.
Matthews said Friday that he recruited Vick during his time as an assistant at Georgia. Then on September 4, 1999, Matthews' first game as JMU's coach was a visit to Virginia Tech, a team led by a redshirt freshman quarterback making his first college start: Michael Vick.
Vick ran for three touchdowns before leaving the game with an injury, in leading Virginia Tech to a 47-0 win that afternoon.
"I think it's great," Matthews said of Vick's deal with the Eagles. "I think he's really a nice guy, and he'll have to stay with that for the rest of his life. It's not like it's going to end next week."
JMU players shared their coach's feelings about Vick.
"Everybody deserves a second chance," said senior defensive tackle Sam Daniels. "He messed up. He did his debt to society. And why not let him play football?"
"He's done his time. He did what he had to do," said senior cornerback/kick returner Scotty McGee. "And now, let the guy play."