Lineman Camp: Matthews Gunning for Offer

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita linebacker Tanner Matthews was put through the ringer on Saturday as he worked out in front of the Cal defensive staff as a defensive lineman.

BERKELEY, Calif. -- Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita linebacker Tanner Matthews came to California’s one-day lineman camp hoping to score an offer from the Golden Bears. While he didn’t leave with a scholarship, he did leave knowing what he needs to do to earn one.

“They say I can get big, but keep the speed, keep the strength. I need to get faster,” said Matthews, who was put through the ringer on Saturday, working out individually with defensive line coach Fred Tate, and repping at both defensive end and defensive tackle during one-on-one work to finish the day.

“I definitely get in shape. If that’s a practice, I’d die the first day,” Matthews said.

At 6-foot-3, 228 pounds, Matthews is certainly a lengthy defender, with very fast hands, but he needs to add weight to earn a defensive tackle offer, 40-50 pounds by his estimation.

“It’s good, though. It was fun, working out,” Matthews said. “That’s what I want to do here, and I’ve got to get working to prove to the coaches that I can play.”

Matthews’ feet were dead at times, and his hips stiff, and he knows he’ll have to improve over the next two weeks, before attending the Cal staff’s one-day camp at Riverside Community College.

“They want to see me keep the weight, get in shape, improve my fast-twitch, and then see me in two weeks,” he said. “If I do better in two weeks, that could be the trigger right there.”

The three-star outside linebacker, when fresh, did have quick feet, and was much better dropping back into coverage than trying to defeat interior linemen. On the edge, he showed a good motor, but it was clear that he was tired by the end of camp.

“I’m just a little tired at nine in the morning. It was rough, but I could get used to that,” Matthews said.

Matthews was quite taken with the campus, with Saturday being his second visit to Berkeley, following in introduction to the program at the Spring Game.

“I was here for the spring game, and I love it here. It’s really interesting and unique, and I love the campus a lot,” he said. “It’s in California. I’d love to stay here. I like the campus. It’s kind of small, kind of in the city, it’s near a metropolis in San Francisco and Oakland, and it’s California, a UC school – great academics.”

Matthews has a 3.63 cumulative GPA.


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