Mattes Enjoys Battle of Favorites

R.J. Mattes, who aspires to unofficially visit all of his favorite schools for a game this season, killed two birds with one stone Saturday afternoon. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound offensive tackle from Concord (N.C.) Robinson watched two of his favorites – North Carolina and Virginia – do battle at Kenan Stadium.

"Just watching the game was pretty cool," said Mattes. "Not only because they both are in my top five teams, it was a great game to watch. It came down to a two-point conversion that [North] Carolina failed to get so Virginia came up with the victory.

"It was a great experienced. I enjoyed my visit to Carolina a lot."

Mattes has also attended games at fellow favorites Clemson and NC State.

"They all have great bands, great atmosphere," said Mattes of the three games he has witnessed. "Everyone tailgates real hard. They all are great college towns. And they all love football. They all were the same to me – basically."

South Carolina is the only favorite Mattes hasn't unofficially visited for a game this fall.

Saturday's outcome meant very little to Mattes.

"I'm not going on wins and losses," said Mattes. "I know it's a rebuilding year for Butch [Davis], because he just got in there.

"For Virginia, it was a good victory. They are 2-0 in the ACC and that's always a plus to be undefeated in the ACC."

Mattes, who admits he's a UVa fan (his father played there), says he didn't root for either team.

"It was tough to pick a team to root for," said Mattes. "I wanted to root for Virginia, but I can't just root for Virginia because Carolina is way up there, too. Every time someone had a big play I started cheering, because I didn't know who to root for. I wanted Carolina to win and I wanted Virginia to win."

During the game, much of Mattes' focus was on both teams' linemen.

"I watch the o-line, especially the left tackle, not only to watch their schemes, but also to help me out playing at my high school," said Mattes. "I watch their technique, watch their pass pro', [and] watch how they pull just to get down their techniques so I can use them when I play."

A couple of years back, Mattes was on hand for a game at UNC during the John Bunting era.

"The crowd wasn't at all like what they are now," said Mattes. "… The crowd was into the game a lot [Saturday]. There were a lot better offensive schemes for Carolina. The team looked pretty good."

Following the game, Mattes met with Sam Pittman, UNC's offensive line coach and his primary recruiter, in Pittman's office for roughly an hour.

"He just talked about how it was a tough loss; he was disappointed in it," said Mattes. "He talked about how they're a bunch of young kids and in a couple of years you're going to see Carolina dominate people.

"And [he said] he wants me to be up there and they need me. He said he picks people on character and he certainly hand picked me."

Davis eventually joined the meeting

"He said ‘I know you can tell how the program has been changing from before he got there until now,'" said Mattes.

"He has obviously changed it around big time – different atmosphere, different attitudes from the players. Just in a couple of years, that program is going to be a power."

Mattes said that these games won't play much of a factor into his collegiate decision. However, his official visits will.

"Then I'll be able to see the players up-close and personal, and get to spend the night, and see how the campus is, and to see the education stuff, too," said Mattes.

Mattes will officially visit UNC on December 1st and UVa on September 29th. He's still in the scheduling phases with Clemson, NC State, and South Carolina.

After taking all five of his official visits, Mattes said he plans on making his collegiate decision.

R.J. Mattes Profile

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