Target 2004: Matt West

Auburn, Georgia, Vanderbilt and several Ivy League schools are pursuing Union County athlete Matt West of Blairsville, Ga. After he made an unofficial visit to UNC this past weekend, West said he would really like to hear from the Tar Heels coaching staff as well.

West had the top pro shuttle time at the Tennessee camp (4.13 seconds) and was among the top four prospects in testing in every category except the bench press.

He has been timed at many of the camps at 4.5 but has a personal best of 4.47 in the 40-yard dash. His vertical is 33 inches and he's recorded a 9-foot-6 broad jump at both Vanderbilt and Tennessee.

West told Inside Carolina on Monday that he had appended UNC to the end of his list of favorites, which includes Vanderbilt, Princeton, Harvard, Wake Forest and Auburn.

"It is a beautiful campus and I've heard that the academics are outstanding," West said. "I would love for them to contact me."

He had been invited to camp in Chapel Hill, but had to pull out at the last minute due to a groin pull he suffered at a previous camp.

"I was just going to wait and see how it felt," West said.

But West and his father Ken decided to make the trip up anyway and tour the campus.

They were extremely impressed.

"From a parents viewpoint, and a UT (Tennessee) graduate, I can tell you that the campus was stunningly beautiful," Ken West said.

This past season, West had 164 carries for 908 yards and nine touchdowns, but only had 27 carries combined during the first three games of the 10-game season. He had six kickoff returns for 235 yards and a touchdown.

On defense, he recorded 91 tackles, 5 sacks, forced four fumbles, recovered five fumbles and had an interception.

West has always played running back and linebacker, but in his upcoming senior year he will move to safety on defense, the position in which he projects at the next level. But West is not worried about depth charts or where he plays. He said competition is part of the game and it's up to the coaching staff as to where and when he plays.

The 6-foot-2, 194-pound West bench presses 275 pounds and squats 435, but he has never had an opportunity to weight train consistently since he also plays baseball and basketball.

In fact, the centerfielder is garnering recruiting interest in baseball after hitting .487 this past season.

"Since the many of schools are recruiting him as a safety, he worked with the secondary at the camps he's attended so far," Ken West said. "Right now he has no solid favorite, but he is using the camps and unofficial visits. He'll begin to narrow the field down toward the end of the summer."

Yet to this point, Carolina's recruitment of West has been limited at best. But West hopes his performance at the camps he has visited, along with his 3.8 GPA and 1140 score on the SAT will spark interest from UNC coaching staff.

"Academics are a very high priority for him, which is one of the main reasons he's added UNC," Ken West said. "Not to mention that he's always loved the Tar Heel basketball program."

Matt West
Position: S
Height: 6-2
Weight: 194
Bench: 275
Squat: 435
40-Time: 4.47
Pro shuttle: 4.13

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