Mathews Setting Himself Up Well

Ryker Mathews from nearby American Fork is receiving some good early attention after showing his wares during some camps this past summer. Mathews was met by a couple of solid Division I offers and those offers are bound to pile up, as he won't be signing his letter of intent until 2011. TBS caught up with Mathews to learn more about the early recruiting attention that he's received.

Ryker Mathews is a 6-foot-6-inch, 265-pound offensive tackle prospect from American Fork High School. Although he now holds offers from both BYU and Utah to play offensive tackle, Mathews is relatively new to the position.

"I was playing tight end last year before they switched me to tackle," explained Mathews. "It was weird since I'd never really played tackle before, but I started to get used to it and felt I ended the year well."

By playing tight end before making the switch to offensive tackle, Mathews joins the growth process of past top-shelf recruits such at Matt Reynolds and Xavier Su'afilo. The fact that Mathews played tight end for half his sophomore year, and that he also played basketball, certainly speaks well of his athleticism.

Mathews played at between 240-250 pounds last year, but following his experience at offensive tackle he immediately recognized that playing tackle would be his ticket to receiving a Division I scholarship. Subsequently, he started working hard to build up his strength and also worked on all other facets involved with becoming a top-shelf offensive tackle prospect.

Regardless, Mathews entered BYU's camp relatively raw due to his lack of experience at playing along the offensive line. However, he found himself making marked improvement after spending time under the tutelage of Cougar offensive line coach Mark Weber.

"Coach Weber is great," remarked Mathews. "I love how he takes time with everybody. It wasn't just the big names, but he really worked hard with everyone in making them better. He understood that I've had little experience playing offensive line and he worked with that. I love how he explained things. He's a great coach."

Overall, Mathews gave his camp experience at BYU high marks.

"BYU's camp is by far the best camp I've attended," stated Mathews. "I went to two other camps this summer and they weren't as close to being as good as BYU's camp. The personal instruction you receive there, the environment and everything is by far the best experience I've had at a camp."

Mathews indeed took full advantage of BYU's camp, as he showed enough to receive a scholarship offer much like he did while at Utah's camp.

"I wasn't expecting an offer for sure," related Mathews. "But when they told me I had an offer I was really excited about it. I love BYU and I love their coaches. I really like how Coach Mendenhall stresses that football isn't the number one thing. I love how he puts faith, family, friends and education ahead of football, because that's how I feel. Football is obviously very important, but I like how Coach Mendenhall does it."

Even though Mathews raved about BYU, he refuses to name a favorite school or even one he's leaning towards currently. Mathews also expressed a lot of interest in Utah and will strongly consider the Utes' scholarship offer along with all the offers he's set to receive between now and next summer. Mathews tentatively plans to make his commit decision next summer.

"I have a lot of time and there is no hurry to make a decision," explained Mathews. "I just want to improve my play, go to camps next summer and see what offers I get before deciding."

Mathews is LDS, but doesn't have definite mission plans as of right now. Although he doesn't know which specific school he'll sign with yet, he does know what that school will have to have in order to secure his services.

"I want a school where I feel comfortable," expressed Mathews. "I want a school where I trust the coaches and know they'll make me the best player I can be. I also want a school with good academics."

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