2011 Intro: Matthias Farley

CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- A year ago when Matthias Farley decided to try out for Charlotte Christian's football team, he wasn't sure he'd even make the team. Now, the 5-foot-11, 195-pound wide receiver holds a Division I-A scholarship offer and is staring at a potentially highly productive senior season.

"I was a soccer player," Farley recalled. "That's all I did."

Until last April, when Charlotte Christian's football team was conducting its skill development, Farley had never participated in anything football related.

"I honestly thought in the beginning I was going to play football, be terrible at it, and I'd be playing club soccer in the spring," Farley said. "I had already told my club coaches I'd be coming out."

As he predicted, Farley was terrible at first and struggled with even the simple things.

"He wasn't sure how to put the pads on," Christian head football coach Jason Estep said with a laugh. "There would be times where his chin strip would be messed up and you'd have to help him through that.

"There were times last April that he was just frustrated like ‘I don't know if I can do this.'"

Farley added, "I almost turned my helmet in, but all the guys were like ‘Come on Farley.'"

Never succumbing to his frustrations, Farley eventually became one of Christian's starting wide receivers.

"With the amount of seven-on-sevens and the work that we do over the summer, we knew before Week One that he was going to start for us," Estep said. "I think it's because you can almost get more work in during the spring and summer than you can during the season from the fundamental standpoint."

Farley ended the season as Christian's leading receiver with 32 catches for 912 yards and 12 touchdowns.

"Athletically, he's very gifted," Estep said. "God has blessed him big time. For a kid that's never played the game organized to step on the varsity stage last year with the pretty tough schedule that we've played and put the numbers up that he did [is impressive]… There's no doubt that he's one of the fastest guys in the state – he's that fast."

Unsurprisingly, Farley matured drastically throughout the season.

"I would say in the beginning of the season he was more of a vertical threat," Estep said. "… But as the season went on, we were able to teach him more things every week. And it gave us the option to run some in routes, some deep come backs, some smoke screens, some bubble screens to him, and we even used him on some motion with some stretch plays sometimes."

Also, Farley began to understand coverages.

"At first, he was out there and he was like ‘This guy is on me and there's a guy over there,'" Estep said. "But then later in the season, he began recognizing if they were in cover-two or cover-four or cover-three or cover-one."

Following the season, Duke extended Farley a scholarship offer.

"My dream before I played football was to play soccer at Duke, because they're one of the top programs" Farley said.

Outside of Duke, Farley has fielded interest from East Carolina, North Carolina, and Wisconsin.

"I'm just keeping my options open," Farley said. "I'm trying to get better and see what happens with that. I'm not ruling Duke out by any means, it's a great school with a great [football] program. I wouldn't say I have any favorites, but Duke is definitely a great place to get your first offer from."

Farley plans to use the summer to research schools and continue to improve his football abilities by attending several camps. He's considering camping at Clemson, Florida State, UNC, Oregon, and Wake Forest.

Last fall, he attended the UNC-Duke game in Chapel Hill and the Duke-Wake Forest game in Durham.

Although he has given up soccer, Farley has continued to run track for Christian. He participates in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as the 4x100 and 4x200 relays. His personal best time in the 100 is 10.6 seconds.

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