McGraw Building Bond With Oregon

River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian defensive back Mattrell McGraw has held Oregon in high regard since the beginning of the recruiting process. His relationship with defensive backs coach John Neal is one of the reasons why.

In the thick of the evaluation period, Mattrell McGraw has continued to improve his efforts on the football field to improve his continually rising stock.

"I've been working real hard during spring ball, getting better as a team and an individual," McGraw said.

The work is paying off as a number of schools including Oregon, UCLA, Florida State, USC, and Notre Dame have been pursuing the three star defensive back aggressively. For McGraw, he understands how fortunate his situation really is.

"It's a blessing," McGraw said. "Because at the end of the day, there's a lot of people that aren't going through this process that wish they could. At times, I can admit it can be stressful, you know, just thinking about the whole process itself. But at the same time you just have to have control over your situation and your process."

McGraw has over 30 offers from around the country, which can make it hard to establish solid relationships with so many coaches attempting to contact him. However, he has been able to build a solid relationship with Oregon defensive backs coach John Neal with their weekly conversations.

"I keep a very good relationship with Coach Neal and he's a great guy to talk to," McGraw said. "Every time I talk to him, he just gives me different pointers on life. One thing I can honestly say is that when we talk, we may talk about recruiting for one minute, literally. The rest of the conversation is us talking about life."

McGraw received a visit from Neal last week, and got a chance to speak with him one-on-one for an hour about Neal's time at Ole Miss in the early 1990s, and living in the south. Neal then got an opportunity to evaluate McGraw's football abilities during practice.

"He told me that he could tell, just by watching me practice, that they could put me just about anywhere on the field and I could make plays," McGraw said.

With his focus primarily on spring ball, McGraw has slowed down his schedule, but did say that he hopes to take at least three more visits that could include stops at Ohio State and Florida State. Having already visited Oregon last month, McGraw said that he hopes to visit again if he can score a late invite to The Opening, which is held on the Nike campus in Beaverton, Ore.

"I got a chance to see things myself and its a very beautiful place," McGraw said. "The players are really down to earth…I'm really looking forward to getting back out there."

McGraw plans to reveal a definitive list of favorite school in the very near future and then to narrow that list down as the season nears. Oregon could be one of those lucky schools on the list, according to him. However, he has no set timetable for making a decision yet.

"I'll probably come along and name a top three heading into the season," McGraw said. "My commitment could come anywhere during the season until signing day, so I'm not really 100 percent sure how that's going to work."


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