Arizona State offensive line coach Chris Thomsen challenged Breontae Matthews.
Matthews accepted that challenge, accomplished it, and now the junior college offensive lineman has a scholarship offer from ASU. Matthews said he has “high” interest in playing for the Sun Devils next year and hopes to visit ASU’s campus in January.
Matthews stands at 6-foot-6, weighs 320 pounds and plays for Fullerton Community College in Fullerton, Calif.
Matthews said Thomsen first scouted him during spring practices and Thomsen liked his skills and his tape.
Thomsen even apparently compared Matthews to a former ASU tackle Jamil Douglas.
“The first day he met me, he saw me do my one-on-ones and he said I got the potential to be a good player and athletically I can be better than the past left tackle they put in the draft last year I guess for the Miami Dolphins,” Matthews said.
Douglas was taken in the fourth round by the Dolphins in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Matthews passed Thomsen’s eye test but Thomsen was not ready to extend a scholarship offer.
“When he came to see me in the spring, he looked at my transcripts and we made a deal that once I get my grades to a certain standard that he liked, then the offer was going to be mine on the table,” Matthews said.
In the summer, Matthews said he did not take any recruiting trips and focused on his school work.
Even though Matthews did not have an offer from ASU at the time, he said Thomsen kept in contact with him regularly.
They would talk once a week about his junior college games and his grades. Thomsen saw Matthews’s improvement on the field and in the classroom and rewarded him for it.
“I worked my ass off all summer to get them grades and he offered me once my midseason highlight tape came out,” Matthews said.
Matthews reportedly has offers from Eastern Carolina, Iowa State, UAB and UNLV and will be making a trip to Iowa State on Nov. 14 and a visit to UNLV on Dec. 4. He also expressed interest in visiting Kansas State and North Carolina State.
Matthews said he will leave junior college after the 2016 spring semester. Since Matthews has until signing day to make a decision, he said he will make a commitment either in late January or early February.