Irish Gain TE Prospect

Tyrone Willingham's new system appears to be friendly to tight ends, and the Irish landed one Tuesday when Brian Mattes verbally committed. The Irish did lose a key offensive line prospect when weekend visitor Josiah Vinson verbally committed to Stanford. Willingham will have a shot with another big body this weekend when Californian Fred Matua visits. The complete recruiting buzz from IrishEyes and is here.

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January 23, 2002

Irish Gain TE,
Lose OL Prospect

By The IrishEyes.Com News Service

NOTRE DAME, IN (IE) Tyrone Willingham’s new offensive scheme made a final impression on a tight end prospect this weekend.

Brian Mattes, a 6-6, 240-pounder from Plymouth, Pennsylvania, has verbally committed to Notre Dame after making his official visit on Saturday.

Mattes had visited Virginia, Virginia Tech and Penn State according to Trey Perrone of and This past season, Mattes had 34 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns. He was equally productive at defensive end with 70 tackles and 13 sacks.

Meanwhile, Buddy Teevens scored a coup.

The new Stanford head coach beat out his predecessor Tuesday night when offensive line prospect Josiah Vinson committed to The Cardinal.

"I enjoyed my visit to Notre Dame," Vinson told David Garvin of and "It was a tough choice, a very difficult choice, but Stanford is the place for me."

Vinson, a 6-4, 285-pounder from Irving, Texas, had also visited Arkansas.

Willingham and his Irish staff will now focus on Banning, California O-Line prospect Fred Matua, who is visiting this weekend. Considered one of the top 10 players on the West Coast, Matua is 6-2, 280 and had an "outstanding" visit to Oklahoma last weekend.

"I really like it a lot (in Norman), it was a real family atmosphere," Matua told Greg Biggins of TheInsiders.Com and "The players and coaches are close and it’s a big-time football school."

Matua lists Oklahoma, USC, Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame as his finalists. He says geography is not a factor in his decision.

"I’m looking forward to my trip to Notre Dame," he said. "This is a business decision. Who can help me at the next level and beyond?"

Notre Dame’s new, pro-style offensive scheme is apparently helping with wide receiver prospects. Maurice Stovall, a 6-5, 205-pound speedster from Radnor, PA, has the Irish on his final two.

"I am down to Notre Dame and Virginia," Stovall told Jamie Newberg of TheInsiders.Com and "There will be no more visits." After visiting South Bend this past weekend, Stovall eliminted Michigan from consideration.

Another important visitor this weekend is 6-3, 190-pound receiver Rhema McKnight from LaPalma, California. McKnight received an in-home visit from Willingham assistant Buzz Preston Tuesday night.

"Rhema is really looking forward to Notre Dame this weekend," McKnight’s guardian, Fred Grier, told Biggins. "I think if (Steve) Spurrier had stayed at Florida or (George) O’Leary had stayed at Georgia Tech, they would have been the favorites. But now it is wide open."

McKnight has visited Washington and UCLA.

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