He also stars on the basketball court. The reigning Gatorade Player of the Year in Idaho hoops, Ballenger is currently scoring just over 30 points and 7 rebounds a game for Skyview.
This past summer, Ballenger committed to the Buffs to play football. Skyview head football coach Dave Young spoke with BSN about Ballenger.
BSN: What kind of offense did you guys run?
Young: We switched up this year from his sophomore and junior years. (Young took over offensive coordinator duties prior to the 2006 season). Pretty much the last two years before this year we were the typical two-back set and ran a lot out of the I. We ran a lot of misdirection.
This year again we were two-back, but we did a little bit of shotgun. We had a little bit of option. We're primarily a run-first offense. We run 60 percent of the time or more; throw when we have to to keep them off balance.
BSN: How did Matt do making the switch between the two offenses?
Young: It was seamless. The first offense that we had – it was tough to get the terminology down. There was a lot of memorization. And we went back to kind of your old-school (terminology). Because of him and a couple other of my seniors, the switch was pretty seamless.
BSN: How does he move for a guy his size?
Young: The kid can actually run fairly well. He's 6-4 about 210 and he runs the 40 in a legit 4.9. He's just so long he's kind of deceptive in how fast he is. Plus, you know how kids are. There's a difference between 40 speed and game speed. When you're on the field and you have the ball and you're running toward the end zone, you run a little faster.
Ballenger, we didn't ask him to run a whole lot the first couple years, but it's a pretty cool thing to watch him run. When he would turn the corner on some of our option plays, it was kind of a cool thing to watch him run.
BSN: What about his leadership qualities? Is he a guy that as he grows at the next level can be a leader at quarterback?
Young: Yeah, I think he'll grow a lot. Because you know the leadership for him at the high school level is a little bit different. No. 1, he's a little more gifted as an athlete and sometimes a guy gets frustrated because you know what you're capable of doing. …But when people around you aren't as gifted, sometimes it's a little bit frustrating.
But his leadership for us was good and I think when he's at the next level where there are athletes as good as him and better, his leadership will develop and change. It'll go from having to feel like he needs to carry the team to maybe feeling like he needs to know what everybody is doing and getting them to perform there jobs better.