Matt played one year as a running back at St.Thomas More Prep School in Connecticut after high school before transferring to College of San Mateo and playing linebacker for the last two seasons. This season the 5-foot-11, 238-pound linebacker made 81 tackles, 11.5 tackles-for-loss, and had 4.5 sacks before being named All-Conference. He had interest from Old Dominion, Tennessee, and Kansas but then about a month ago the Iowa State staff came calling. "Their coaches called my coach to see if he felt we had any good players available and so my coach sent them my tape," said Taufoou. "After they saw the tape Coach Bleil started calling me and said they were very interested and that he just wanted to start to get to know me."
After talking on the phone with Coach Bleil and Coach Rhoads, he set up a visit to Iowa State last weekend and came away clearly impressed. "I went to practice on Friday and I really liked it," said Taufoou. "I just like the coaching style and how they treat their players. You can see the fire burning in the coaches and the passion that the players have."
Matt also enjoyed getting to hang out with some of the players. "Collin Franklin was my host and he introduced me to a lot of the players," he said. "They were great guys who are definitely the type of teammates that I would want to surround myself with."
Then on Sunday morning Matt had a meeting with the coaches that included some good news. "I was kind of sensing they might offer and then Coach Rhoads made it official by offering me at breakfast," he said. "I was real happy because I really like Coach Rhoads and his staff. All the people I met just seem like really honest and caring people."
He then went back home to California and spent this week talking with his parents about this decision and finally decided to call Coach Rhoads to make things final tonight. Matt played middle linebacker for San Mateo's 3-4 defense and said that the coaches have told him that he will come in and be competing at all three linebacker spots. He just can't wait to compete in the Big 12. "I'm just stoked because you grow up watching these types of teams playing and really it's just a dream come true," he said.