Alexander Mattison’s parents are Darrell and Pearl Mattison. The Minnesota Vikings running back grew up in San Bernardino, California, with two older twin brothers, Lamarr and Darrell Jr. His father is a military veteran and Mattison has shared that his parents did a “great job” of raising their three sons.
Here’s what you need to know about Alexander Mattison’s family:
1. Alexander Mattison’s Father Darrell Mattison Is a U.S. Air Force Veteran & Moved His Family From Ohio to California
Darrell Mattison is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and his military background translated to the way he parented his children, with a focus on discipline, Mattison shared with the Vikings. “He would tell us about some of his experiences and tell a little bit about his time in the Air Force but not too much,” Mattison explained.
“He kind of just taught us the discipline of it,” he continued. However, although discipline was important, Mattison Sr. did want to move away from some of the strict scheduling and rigidity that he’d known in the military.
Darrell Mattison said he was living in Dayton with Mattison’s mother but when she was pregnant with the future NFL star, he decided that things weren’t working for them in Ohio and there weren’t a lot of jobs. “I actually moved out to California,” he recalled, in a “Fathering Excellence” podcast episode. “Actually caught a greyhound to California and worked and got everything furnished in that complex.”
He returned to Dayton in February 1998 and packed the family’s stuff and they all moved out to California, just a few months before Mattison was born. Afterward, Darrell Mattison revealed that he and his then-wife were working alternating schedules so there would always be someone home with the boys. “She was Sunday through Wednesday and I was Wednesday through Saturday,” he recalled.
However, the parents found that they were working long hours and spending a lot on child care, and decided instead that Pearl Mattison would be the one to stay home and look after their three boys. “It gave her a chance to nurture and give them the love,” he shared on the podcast.
He revealed that they were both pretty strict with their boys. “Any of those things that normal kids and their friends were doing, me and my wife wouldn’t allow, because there’s no reason that a 12 or 13-year-old should be out after midnight at some house,” he explained. “My wife always went over and met their parents before they can spend the night,” he added. Mattison shared that the two of them never clashed over parenting and wanted to raise their children the same way.
Mattison has said that his mother and father’s parenting style was a good influence on him, telling the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, “My parents did a great job of raising me and my brothers.” They had rules to follow and were only allowed to go play when they’d done their homework and couldn’t be out after the streetlights came on.
2. Alexander Mattison’s Mother Pearl Mattison Moved to Eagan, Minnesota, to Be Closer to Her Son
Mattison’s mother, Pearl Mattison, moved to Eagan, Minnesota, to help her son adjust to his new life there, he told Twin Cities Pioneer Press in 2019. Mattison’s parents were going through a divorce and the NFL star told the publication his mother “needed a change.”
“She makes sure I’m taken care of,” he said of having his mother in Eagan. “I love her cooking, and that’s a plus, having your mom make home cooked meals. When I get home, I’m thankful she’s here because we exert a lot of energy out here.”
Pearl Mattison didn’t want to spend her days at home, however, and began working at Walmart. “She likes to be active,” Mattison explained. “She likes to put her time and energy into something.” She shared that she loves helping people and wanted to get to know the neighborhood, so she decided to start working there.
Mattison and his mother are very close and he posted on Instagram in December 2022, “My momma proud.. so we good.”
3. Darrell Mattison Was Diagnosed With Cancer When Alexander Mattison Was Young & It Had an Impact on Him
When Mattison was still a child, his father was diagnosed with hairy cell leukemia, a rare form of cancer. Darrell Mattison was admitted to the hospital on December 31, 2009, Mattison recalled to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, and said, “It was really scary. It was something that really affected me. I would kind of break down and be in a bad state of mind sometimes.”
Darrell Mattison shared that he didn’t allow his sons to visit him because he thought he’d get better and didn’t want them to see him in such a state. However, he sent for his family after three weeks, telling the publication, “I thought I was going to die. I wasn’t getting better, so I told my wife at the time, ‘You need to bring them up and let them see me in case I don’t make it out of here.’”
Mattison’s father did start to get better and was released after two months, and then went into remission. Mattison said that difficult time stayed with him and it’s been a driving force in him wanting to raise awareness. “I’m honoring my father, who fought leukemia for awhile,” he shared. “He’s doing great now, but I’m just honoring his fight and all those who are going through that.”
4. Alexander Mattison’s Parents Wanted Their Children to Focus on Their Education First
When Mattison was growing up, his parents made his education a priority, and his father shared that good grades were more important than anything else. He shared in his “Fathering Excellence” podcast appearance that he told his kids he didn’t care how good they were, they wouldn’t be playing any games if they had Cs.
“And, me and his mother always made sure that’s what happened,” he explained. “So, if he hadn’t finished his homework by the time football practice started, he would sit on the side and finish his homework before he could go into practice.” He explained that with football, anything can happen, including injuries, whereas an education will last forever. Darrell Mattison said it also helped that his then-wife, Pearl Mattison, made sure to reinforce their school lessons at home.
Though Mattison was drafted into the NFL in 2019, he still wanted to complete his college degree and began taking online classes from Boise State so he wouldn’t have to transfer to another school. He graduated in August 2021 with a bachelor of arts in multidisciplinary studies and shared at the time that he wanted to get his degree for his parents for “all that they have done to help me stay on the right path. Succeeding at higher education is how I pay respect to my parents.”
5. Alexander Mattison Is Very Close With His Family & Is Now a Father Himself
Mattison’s parents could tell from a young age that their son was hooked on football and his mother came up with a plan to get him some practice so he could learn to hold the ball better. She gave her son a football and he carried it around everywhere as his older brothers, twins Darrell Jr. and Lamarr, would follow him around and try to knock it out of his hands.
“If he were walking to the kitchen, his brothers would try to snatch it out of his arms,” Pearl Mattison recalled to Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “If he was going to the barber shop, they’d try to snatch it out. If he were watching TV, I’d sit down next to him and try to snatch it out.”
His father, Darrell Mattison, has said that what’s made him proudest of his son, beyond his football career, is when someone praises his son’s character. “When people speak of that before they speak of your football, then you know that the person he’s become is the person that you raise and that you get right,” he shared in his podcast appearance.
Mattison is now a father himself. He and his wife Drea Mattison, who’ve been together since their high school days, according to his social media posts, are the proud parents of a young girl. Their daughter Alayah Mattison was born on September 9, 2022. On May 14, 2023, he wished his wife a happy Mother’s Day and told her, “Alayah will grow up to be so proud of who her mommy is!”