Matthew Mucha: His Coach's Take

Matthew Mucha is one of two offensive linemen who are expected to sign with Oklahoma State next week. The 6-6, 255-pound standout from Clear Lake High School in Houston remains committed to the Cowboys despite Joe Wickline leaving for Texas. With National Signing Day around the corner (Feb. 5), we visited with Clear Lake head coach Sam Smith about Mucha and his future with the Cowboys.

What are Matt's strengths as a football player?
Smith: He's a good leader. He's a student of the game. He's got great feet. He's very long. He's got great leverage. One of the things about him is he's young, so his best years of football are way ahead of him. He's started for us the last three years and has just gotten better for us each year. He's a hard worker; he loves the weight room and he loves practice.

What do you think will be the biggest transition for him moving from the high school game to the Big 12 Conference?
Smith: Going up against Big 12 talent every down. You're a young kid and all of a sudden you're going to be going up against grown men. We play in a very good league down here (in Houston) where every Friday night we're playing against real good opponents who are well coached. We're playing against kids who are going to be playing in the Big 12 and the SEC, but he's going to have to play every down with that kind of talent. It will be a period of adjustment but I think he will be able to transition well.

Do you think he has a chance to make an instant impact or will there be an adjustment period for him?
Smith: I guess it really depends on what Oklahoma State has. I think he could go in and make an instant impact but at the same time any time you can go and learn for a year and grow a year and get acclimated and get stronger and bigger, it's definitely a benefit. I guess that's between coach (Mike) Gundy and his new offensive line coach.

Why do you think he chose Oklahoma State?
Smith: In talking to him as he was going through the recruiting process he really liked coach Gundy, he really liked the school and he liked the area. He liked coach (Joe) Wickline, that was part of the process. When coach Wickline went to the University of Texas, coach Gundy made an impact on him, and he went there for Oklahoma State, and he really likes the school. He stuck with his commitment, and he's fired up and excited about being a Cowboy.

What do you think he is capable of accomplishing over the course of his college career at OSU?
Smith: I think he's very athletic, and like I said, he's really young so he's going to have an opportunity to grow. I think he's still growing. I think he can be one of the top offensive linemen in the Big 12 by the time he's a senior. He's a smart kid, so his academics is never a problem. He is a student of the game, so he's going to work and he's going to get better. He always strives to be the best. He comes from a very good home life, very good parents, both his mother and father are special people. Their drive and what they do in their lives is just going to filter down to Matt. Matt's a quality kid who is always striving to be the best.

What will you remember the most about coaching him?
Smith: Matt is like another son to me. He is one of my son's best friends. He's such a great kid. I remember him being a sophomore, and being this long, skinny kid and everybody was wondering why I was wanting this 6-4 skinny kid on the offensive line. My answer was I can't coach a kid to be 6-4 but I can coach a kid to be better. Matt just seemed to have a desire to get better and to work hard and be tougher. He's an outdoor enthusiast, and we hunt and fish. I've told him and my son that one day PETA is going to come to my house and arrest me because they are always cleaning something in my backyard, whether they caught it or killed it. They're great kids. Like I said, he's one of those good kids who was really good friends with my son, and they played three years together. It will be a lifelong friendship with Matt.


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