O'Brien Making In-Roads With Mattes

NC State is working to move up with OL R.J. Mattes and it appears they may be doing just that behind the work of head coach Tom O'Brien.

Virginia continues to be hot on the trail of 6-7, 265-pound Robinson (Concord, N.C.) junior R.J. Mattes. Three UVa coaches stopped by Robinson yesterday, making an impression on the talented offensive line recruit. UVa needs to continue to show this heavy interest as they certainly are not the only team coveting Mattes' signature next February.

"I talk to Mike Groh every once in a while," Mattes said of what his contact with UVa has been like. "He actually called me up last week because they get the one phone call during the Evaluation period. We talk about everything. The Virginia coaches came by [yesterday]. I saw him and Coach Borbely. There were actually three Virginia coaches. That shows me that they have a lot of interest in me. Virginia has always been one of my favorites and they will be throughout."

Virginia was not the only school represented yesterday. Coaches from N.C. State and Notre Dame stopped by as well. Coaches from Clemson are expected to stop by very soon, possibly this week.

The recruiting process is going well for Mattes, who currently has eight written scholarship offers - Clemson, Duke, East Carolina, North Carolina, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest. Georgia and Notre Dame headline other programs showing significant interest.

In an interview in late February, Mattes listed Clemson, N.C. State and Virginia as his top three. Those programs remain at the top, but they are now joined by another.

"[North] Carolina is up there, too," said Mattes, who is the son of former UVa star defensive lineman Ron Mattes. "I've got four at the top now. Carolina and N.C. State have been giving me a lot of love recently. Coach O'Brien has been talking with my dad. He coached my dad at UVa. I saw a list of offensive linemen Coach O'Brien has coached over the year and it was very, very impressive."

Mattes did not name a favorite among the four and says he will take his decision making process into the fall.

"They are all even. I have no clue which school I'm going to pick," Mattes said.

"I want to get some official visits under my belt before I make my decision. I want to meet all the players."

Virginia will receive one of those official visit spots.

"I definitely want to take an official visit to Virginia," Mattes said. "And probably Clemson is a definite. I went there for spring practice. Coach Napier took me around campus and showed me the academic advisor building. I watched practice. I just liked it up there."

Mattes has had a busy off-season. In addition to lifting and preparing for next football season, he is participating in AAU basketball. He has also attended a few combines, including a Shrine Bowl combine and this past weekend's Nike Combine in Athens, Georgia.

He weighed in at 265 pounds at the Shrine Bowl, a 10-pound gain from his playing weight this past season as a junior. He posted a 5.09 time in the 40-yard dash and a 4.6 time in the 20-yard shuttle at the Shrine Bowl.

Up next may be an Adidas camp or a Scout.com combine. This summer, Mattes says he "definitely" will go to Clemson, N.C. State for 1-day summer camps and will likely go to two or three other schools as well.


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