Practice Tour: RJ Mattes

CONCORD, N.C. --- In Bobby Cloninger's third year as head coach, Robinson High School hopes to continue its positive progression and score its first winning season of his tenure. R.J. Mattes will play a major role in that objective.

  • Practice Tour: R.J. Mattes Photo Gallery

    "I want it to be a winning season here," said Mattes. "We're working hard right now. We're getting there. Everyone out here just wants it to be a winning season. It's been awhile since we've had one. This year looks like it's going to be a big one and we'll go deep in the playoffs."

    Mattes, a 6-foot-6 260-pound offensive tackle from Concord (N.C.) Robinson, stars at left tackle where he'll not only anchor the line, but will be the lead blocker for screen and swing passes.

    "We're going to take advantage of his athletic ability," said Cloninger. "He has the ability to move; he has the ability to get down field and make big plays as a blocker. We feel like if we can get some people the ball in space and get him out there, they can make plays."

    On the defensive side of the ball, Mattes will start at defensive end.

    "My job is just to hit the quarterback as hard as I can," explained Mattes.

    However, Mattes' responsibilities for Robinson extend past his starting positions.

    "My role is to be a senior leader," said Mattes. "Not just a leader on the offensive line, but a team leader."

    Cloninger added, "The thing that we want our team to do that I think he epitomizes is he plays hard every play. I mean his motor runs. I think that's the one thing college scouts have really been amazed with is how well he plays from start to finish on each play."

    This fall, in addition to his senior football season, Mattes will be concentrating on his recruitment.

    "During the season, I'm probably going to see a couple of games," said Mattes. "I'm definitely going to take all of my official visits and just check out every school I can."

    Recently Mattes narrowed his list of approximately 20 scholarship offers to five schools – Clemson, UNC, NC State, South Carolina, and Virginia.

    "Close to home is the major reason [that I selected those five schools]," said Mattes. "And every one of those schools I went to camps, checked out the coaching styles, checked out the campus. Basically, it all came down to location, because I want to be somewhere where my friends and family can come see me and just be close to home so I can go home when I need to."

    Mattes noted that he doesn't have a leader among the quintet.

    "Right now, they're all basically the same," said Mattes. "After my official visits I'll come out with [a leader]."

    Since Mattes will officially visit all five finalists before making a verbal commitment, he is now in the process of scheduling official dates for this fall.

    Thus far, Mattes has set a visit to UVa on September 29th when the Cavaliers host Pittsburgh. He's also close to firming up dates with Clemson and UNC.

    "[Sam Pittman] just texted me the other day about getting the official visit done," said Mattes. "I really haven't checked their schedule out. I'm just looking for what open spots they've got. That's what [Pittman] is going to send me actually."

    After the season, with all of his official visits behind him, Mattes will then be ready for a decision.

    "I just want to check out how each program progresses," said Mattes. "It's not all about wins and loses, just basically how a team goes. Like new coaches in Butch Davis and Tom O'Brien, I want to check out how they've changed their programs around. And just see how each season ends up."

    R.J. Mattes Profile

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