Patience pays off for Matsumoto

For three years Brian Matsumoto never saw game action. Thus, when this walk-on senior finally got his chance to play in the 2009 season opener, he knew he had to make the most of it. And did he ever. A highlight reel 16-yard touchdown catch was just one more reason why the game versus Idaho State is one he won't forget for a long time.

"It all happened pretty fast, it was pretty exciting," said Matsumoto concerning about the first few seconds after he scored. "As soon as I got up (after diving for his touchdown catch) I just got hit by all my teammates all in a row. T.J. (Simpson) got to me first; Kyle (Williams) was over there. I was running to my (position) coach and almost felt like tearing up, but didn't."

"It's a great feeling. It's my first offensive play. It was really cool. Still feels great."

Matsumoto never got discouraged being excluded from game action, and claimed that it's a reward just to be part of the team.

"Helping out, getting the respect of everybody," the wide receiver said, "three years on the scout team…I worked my butt off and luckily got a travel spot. I feel that this is where I would always be."

Those who followed Matsumoto throughout fall practice are not surprised with his recent success. Every session last month the senior showed sure hands and ran crisp routes and more often than not was one of the better receivers in practice.

"I knew I could play, I just needed the chance to," Matsumoto commented. "Last year in camp I got hurt in the first day of practice. This year I just balled out and got an awesome opportunity."

Matsumoto admitted that he had a better working rapport with Samson Szakacsy than Brock Osweiler, the signal caller who actually threw the touchdown pass to him. The wide receiver said that he felt a drop-off in s thrown to him when Osweiler replaced the injured Szakacsy at second team quarterback.

"The last couple of weeks before the game me and Brock had a little connection going," Matsumoto noted.

A play from 1975 versus the University of Arizona, simply known as "The Catch" by wide receiver John Jefferson is known around Arizona State as probably the best touchdown pass ever by an ASU offense. The touchdown scored by Matsumoto, who just like Jefferson had to be horizontal from the ground to score, is another Sun Devil moments fans won't quickly forget.

"I came out of break over the corner." Matsumoto recalled, "and had to let up. Then I saw the ball and kind of had to speed up to it. I wasn't not going to dive for it (laughs). I just went for it."

Matsumoto prepped in one of the top high school programs in Hawaii - Punahou which is located in Honolulu. "Our high school team wasn't that great," the wide receiver admitted. "We have a lot of tradition, but we were really just playing for the people before and the people ahead of us. I was real tiny in high school, like 145 pounds and really didn't get recruited by anyone.

"I just wanted to go to a big school, so I just came out here and I'm graduating in a few months."

Matsumoto doesn't necessarily feel like he made a statement with his play last Saturday, but obviously his performance was a great boost to his confidence. "Coaches had confidence in me before," the senior said, "but now it's a little more. Hopefully I can keep this thing going and get us more wins."


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