Matt Wykes is coming off an undefeated high school career --- yes, that’s right, CAREER.
The former Conway Springs QB/DB never lost at the high school level and enjoyed four state championships in Kansas class 3A.
“I was 42-0 as a starter,” said Wykes. “I've been a part of four state championships and have started in three of them. Our team record 55-0 since I was a freshman.”
It may sound like Wykes is boasting, but nothing could be further from the truth. He simply tells like it is and wants to prove to the world that after accomplishing everything possible in high school, he’s worthy of a scholarship at the Division-1 level in college. Wykes has been approached by several major conference schools about becoming a preferred walk-on, but the former Conway Springs Cardinal is holding out hope for a scholarship.
“Right now, walking on, I mean that's a lot of money,” admitted Wykes. “If I walk on I think I have the necessary competitive spirit, I know I'd make the team. Because we're only a 3A school in Kansas I know that hurts me a little. It's definitely one of the reasons why I don't have more offers then what I have now, but my speed, height, weight and everything is D-1 material if you ask any other coach.”
“K-state wants me to play quarterback, Nebraska wants me to play wide receiver KU wants me to play safety. So it's a little bit of all the worlds there,” admitted Wykes.
Wykes doesn’t care what position he plays in college, but would really like to be on scholarship. So far, the Jayhawks, Wildcats and Huskers have yet to offer, but Wykes hopes that will change when he makes a visit to Lawrence later this month.
“Right now they have the date set for the 28th, but they’re going to call me later this week if they want to move it up,” said Wykes. “There is a chance they could move it up to possibly this weekend.”
But will the Jayhawks offer a scholarship?
“It really sounds like they might offer me a scholarship when I get there,” Wykes said. “They were looking at me at QB originally, but then they got a commitment from Kerry Meier, so they said if I was willing to adjust and play safety they said they might have a scholarship left for safety.”
The former Cardinal DB is confident he can play safety at the next level if that’s what it takes to hook on at Kansas.
“Basically, I've been playing defensive back ever since I started playing in high school, so I think I can play safety at KU.”
With that confidence in mind, Wykes will hold out hope that his versatility will be enough to land him at Kansas. One thing is for sure though, he’s not putting all his eggs in the Jayhawks basket.
“I really like all three programs (K-State, Nebraska and Kansas), said Wykes. “I've been to all their camps and talked to the coaches and stuff and it's a really tough choice because they're all so friendly, outgoing and personable. I really respect all three coaching staffs.”
Wykes hopes to check out all three programs up close and in person, but so far his only scheduled visit is with Kansas.
“Nebraska said that as soon as they knew if they were going to offer me or not they'd hook me up with a visit and K-state talked about a visit later on -- so right now KU is the only for sure visit.”
An offer from the Huskers will depend on what several other prep stars decide, according to Wykes.
“Nebraska has told me that they're waiting on these three or four guys to say yes or no, and if one of those guys says no to what they're being offered, I might get the scholarship. So, I see something happening with them really soon in the future.”
So, where would Wykes wind up if all three Big 12 schools offered him a scholarship?
“That's tough, I'd have to sit down and consider the pros and cons of each school right now. I think it's just going to be a timing issue of who offers me first and who treats me the best on the visit. I need to go there and see what I like about each school.”
If no offers come in from Wykes big three, he might reluctantly pursue an opportunity to play below the D-1 level. It’s not something he likes to think about, but is a very real possibility if things don’t work out with his Big 12 favorites.
“Right now if these three schools don't come out and offer that's going to be another tough decision to make. I've been talked to about walking on a lot and I might still do that, but I also could go to a bigger D-2 school like Pittsburg State or Northwest Missouri State. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
And see he will – perhaps very soon if he does, indeed, take his visit to Kansas later this month. Whether it’s at KU or somewhere else Wykes will be eager to commit if the right offer comes his way.
“If I get offered and these other schools are just like, ‘Were still looking at someone else, we might offer you later,’ then I'm just going to be like, ‘You guys can stand in the dust and someday we'll be in to town to maybe kick you around a bit,’” joked Wykes.
While his sense of humor might indicate otherwise, Wykes as a football player is no joke. He’s been out to prove his worth to major college teams for the past four years and gets very serious when he talks about his ultimate dream – which might soon be within reach.
“It's just been my dream to play to D-1 ever since I was little. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”