Dual Threat

BYU is interested in two athletes out of Southridge High School in Kennewick, Washington. One name should be familiar BYU recruiting fans, while the other is a recent addition to the Cougars' prospects list.

Travis Mattair has the size to be another Marcus Mathews type receiver. The main difference between Mathews and Mattair is the sports they participate in outside of football. Mathews excels in track, whereas Mattair is a basketball and baseball stand out.

"Well, I'm 6-5, 215 and I've played three sports all my life," said Mattair. "I played baseball, basketball and football. I feel like I could probably go the farthest in baseball right now. Coach and scouts look for a specific body type and I have a decent body. I'm big and I have the potential to put on more weight and increase my strength, which I need to do.

"Also in football they like my body as a wide receiver because again I have the potential to put on more weight and increase my strength."

Even though he does not have any offers in hand, many big time programs are looking at Mattair for baseball. The decision on which sport to play at the next level is still very much up in the air, however.

"I have a lot more options for baseball, but options are coming open for football too," Mattair said. "I went up to [Washington State] and talk to [Head Coach Bill] Doba, and I went up to UW to talk to them. I've been talking to coaches here and there like Oregon State, BYU, Utah and UNLV's coach. None of these schools have offered me but WSU is the number one place, for baseball that is. I haven't heard much of anything in regards to offers right now. I'm getting a lot of looks from a lot of coaches because of Jason [Munns]. He brings the coaches in and they say, ‘Oh look at that receiver.' I'm getting a lot of looks that way.

"I'm getting letters from Michigan State, Illinois, Stanford, ASU, LSU, Washington, Oregon, WSU, Oregon State, BYU, Utah and Nebraska among others. I would have to go look because I get my schools mixed up with baseball sometimes."

During his junior year, Mattair suffered a high ankle sprain that kept him somewhat under the football radar. Many college coaches learned of his talents after scouting out his good friend and starting quarterback Jason Munns.

"I missed four games last year," Mattair said. "I didn't play the entire season and really didn't keep stats. I think I had around eight touchdowns and 530 yards receiving which isn't bad for missing four games out of the year. As a receiver I would have to give a lot of credit to Jason.

"I've been first team in every sport. I can tell you all my stats in basketball. I scored 19.6 points a game with 10.5 rebounds for basketball. For football, my sophomore year I was first team all-conference and second team all-state for safety. Last year I was second team all-state wide receiver and honorable mention for defense, but I didn't think I was going to get anything because I missed a few games. In baseball, last year I was first team all-conference, utility player because I played five positions. I pitched and played third, first, left and center last year. This year I was first team all-conference third baseman and second team all-conference as a pitcher. I thank God everyday."

There is a reason that Munns is so willing to promote Mattair. The four-star quarterback watched Mattair play for years and believed that his friend is an exceptional athlete.

"We've played sports together since we were ten years old, football, basketball and baseball," said Munns. "He's always just been a tremendous athlete not only physically but mentally. He seems to know what to do in order to go get the ball or where to go in order to get open. Every time, he just knows where to put himself. He has great hands, and he was never a receiver until his sophomore year. He and I kind of had a quarterback battle to see who was going to get the start for Southridge, and when things didn't go his way he shifted positions because he's such a great athlete. He stared for us at receiver and put up great numbers and has never looked back, and things have gone really well for him."

So what type of a wide receiver would Mattair compare himself to?

"I don't really know," said Mattair. "I would have to say probably Joe Jurevicius or someone like that. I'm trying to be humble here. I'm not the fastest guy and hand timed at around a 4.7 forty. Again, I want to be humble here but I do make plays for the most part when a play needs to be made, and I want to be thrown to in pressure situations."

Because he is actively involved in a merry-go-round schedule playing three sports throughout the season, Mattair admits his time in the weight room has been hampered. That has not stop him from accomplishing much on the field, however.

"You know, I haven't lifted as much as I should," Mattair said. "I play three sports so I haven't really had much time to put into the weight room. I've had three days off all year and had one day off between football and basketball and two between basketball and baseball, so it's kind of been an ongoing system I've got going between all three sports. I do have some God-given strength, which is nice."

BYU has recently shown quite a bit of interest in Mattair. Both he and Munns are planning on taking a trip down to Provo to check out the campus, learn more about the programs and to put aside any common misconceptions about the university.

"I was talking to Moose [Mattair] the other day and was telling him that I want to get him down there to show him what its like," said Munns. "It's just stereotyped as strictly a Mormon school and everything is all church like, but really it's not just that. It's a premiere football operation and that's a pretty big focus down there. I told him that we‘re not going to get better treatment and facilities anywhere. I told him that all the places that we've seen and their facilities have been blown out of the water by BYU's. He said it would be cool and that he would like to go down there and see it. I think it would have the same affect on him that it did on me.

"He just got done with baseball and has a few days so we were thinking of trying to get down there this week or maybe the following week if we can. I would like to get down there soon because his region ball starts up on next Tuesday, so we're trying to figure out a way in which we can get it done. I hope it works but I don't know if it will but we're trying to get down there soon."

Munns recently talked to BYU Quarterbacks Coach Brandon Doman, about Mattair. Munns made BYU aware of Mattair's interest in the Cougar program.

"I think it's kind of at that point where he didn't think they were interested in him and BYU didn't know if he was interested in them," said Munns. "So I talked to Coach Doman, and he said, ‘Oh that's kind of funny because I just talked to Coach Reynolds about Travis and we're definitely interested in him.' He said they were definitely going to try to get some film on him. I think there is definitely some interest there going both ways, and if he did have the opportunity to play there and so did I, it would be great."

Another reason Munns wants to bring Mattair down to BYU is to show him that the university has a fantastic program that is suitable for top notch athletes.

"He just thinks that all the Mormons go there and sure they've had some good quarterbacks in the past and they've been struggling a lot recently, but he didn't really think they were that great of a place to play football," said Munns. "He thinks BYU is just an average place, but when I went down there I saw that the facilities were top of the line. I don't know if you can get better facilities, treatment and what you need as an athlete than at BYU, and at the same point the same amount of players they've produced and with the offensive system they're working down there is top of the line. I've talked with Coach Mendenhall and I really get a long with Coach Doman and it has really turned around what I thought about BYU."

After only one season, it is difficult to judge Coach Doman's skill as a quarterbacks coach, but he has had more than enough time to prove himself as a recruiter. Last recruiting season, Coach Doman was key in the signing of high profile athletes like James Lark.

"Doman is a great guy, and he's one that you can just get along with," said Munns. "It's important to get along with your position's coach. If I decide to go to BYU – I'm still not sure what I'm going to do – I know that I would be able to get along with Coach Doman from what I've talked to him and seen. He's a great guy and he's played with the best and had been coached by the best, he knows his stuff."

So what if BYU offers Mattair a chance to play football with his good friend Munns, would he ever consider BYU a possibility for football?

"I would have to go check it out and it is definitely an option," said Mattair. "I'm a Christian and my parents have always said to keep your options open, so I would have to go check that out. I would definitely have to take that into consideration and I would love to play with Jason. Why wouldn't you want to go play with your best friend at the college level, so that would be a good deal and I would definitely look into that but I would have to keep my all my options open right now."

Munns feels the same way about playing with Mattair in college. What quarterback would not want to play with his go-to receiver?

"It would be an absolute dream to play with him just because we're such good friends," Munns said. "We even went bowling tonight, so being able to play with him would be a good deal. I think baseball is his main priority and I heard the other day that he's the number two guy in the state. If you go with baseball, unless you go into the draft, you're never going to get a full ride scholarship and you're going to have to pay for things yourself. What I think he would like to do is probably be able to do both, play both football and baseball. I know he said he is keeping his options open but I think if he got that opportunity it would be a hard option for him to turn down. It would be just a dream to continue on and be able to play together."

Mattair knows that BYU has an honor code and through Munns has gained a better understanding of what BYU is truly about. As a devout Christian, he feels that the honor code and environment of BYU would be a plus.

"It is an advantage because it is Mormon and it goes right a long with other Christian beliefs," said Mattair. "We don't smoke or drink and all that and have a kind of honor code ourselves, so that definitely is an advantage."

"He is a good kid," Munns said. "That's one reason why we both get along. We don't drink; we don't smoke and don't hit the party scene on the weekends. People will be joking around what they're going to do and me and "Moose" will go get slurpies and jerky chew. We have the same morals and ideals in that way. I think he would have to get a little used to going to a school like BYU because he never has, but I don't think it would be that big of a transition for him at all."

So what kinds of things is Mattair looking for in a university?

"Of course you want to play as an athlete and that has something to do with it," said Mattair. "However, when you get to that level you're competing against some of the best athletes in the U.S. and the world. Of course you want to play and my family is big to me, so I would love be able to have them see me play, but again, that is what the phone is for if that doesn't really work out. Education would be an important thing to me. If I went to go play football in college very few kids are lucky enough go and play in the NFL, so when you get done playing college football you would need an education to fall back on and support a family and all that."

Mattair currently has a very good core GPA. He has not decided upon what he would like to study in college level, but he wants to do work in something sports related.

"My core GPA is a 3.65 because I kind of slacked off my freshman year, but I get an average of 3.8 on my overall GPA," Mattair said. "I still have a whole year to go but I would probably say something to do with education. I would want to possibly go into teaching like my mom and my uncle. I've also been in the sports med program at my high school. I got intrigued by message therapy and dealing with athletes that way. I just want to deal with athletes, I want to be an athlete and anything to do with sports I would love to do."

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