McGraw taking things slow

River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian cornerback Mattrell McGraw will be taking his time and waiting until after the season to make a decision.

Cornerback Mattrell McGraw has stayed solid with his top three teams in Oregon, UCLA and Florida State heading into his senior season. Recently, he returned from a successful unofficial visit to Tallahassee to see what the Seminoles had to offer.

"I was impressed," McGraw said. "Florida State is a very prestigious school and they put a lot of great defensive backs in the league."

At one point, McGraw considered making an early decision at the end of August, if one school stood out among the rest. But, after consulting his coach, he now plans on taking his time to focus on his senior season.

"My coach won't let me take official visits during the season," McGraw said. "He really wants me to focus on the season that's upon us and my senior year, and I understand that. I'm going to probably take all of my officials after the season and then make my announcement around signing day or a little before that."

Without having the pressure to make a decision soon, McGraw will now focus on getting his officials set up for after the football season.

"I'm going to try and get up to Oregon for one of their bowl practices and probably do the same with FSU and UCLA," McGraw said.

McGraw doubts that he will take another official outside of those three, stating that he has all of the offers he wants. He's stayed in frequent contact with coaches at all three schools, but reiterated that his relationship with Oregon secondary coach John Neal is continuing to grow, to the point that he almost considers the coach family.

"I almost look at Coach Neal like an uncle because of the way he talks to me and the way we understand each other," McGraw said. "(Neal) is one of those coaches that I could talk to every day. I love the way he recruits…when we talk it's so fresh that I could stay on the phone with him for two hours."

McGraw said that while about 70 percent of their conversations revolve around making life decisions and topics outside of football, Neal is discussing different ways that he could use cornerback with each conversation.

"He was talking to me about different ways he could use me in a scheme, having an early success plan my freshman year at Oregon and using me in the return game," McGraw said of their most recent conversation.

McGraw is trying to develop similar relationships with each of the coaches recruiting him, and that FSU's Jeremy Pruitt and UCLA's Demetrice Martin each bring something different to the table than Neal. McGraw wants to make sure that he has someone in his corner at all times, on and off the field, for whichever school he chooses.

"At the end of the day, I have to spend the next 3-4 years with those guys, so I want it to be more than just football," McGraw said.

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