"I WANT TO PLAY EARLY"

University of Pittsburgh Head Football Coach Dave Wannstedt and his staff have been searching for big and athletic offensive tackles. None are larger than massive Dan Matha from McDowell High School in Erie, PA. The PantherDigest.com spoke with him about his recruitment.

"Five schools have offered me a scholarship: Pitt, West Virginia, Connecticut, Maryland and Temple," stated towering offensive tackle prospect Dan Matha (6-foot-7 inches, 310 pounds) from McDowell High School in Erie, PA. "Pitt and West Virginia continue to be two of my top schools. I recently went to the NIKE combine at Penn State and my phone has been ringing off the hook. There are a lot more schools interested in me."

Matha recently attended Pitt's junior day. He is capable of bench pressing 365 pounds, squatting 525 pounds and running a 5.2 forty-yard dash.

When asked about the University of Pittsburgh, Matha quickly responded, "I really like Pitt. I know they landed Pat Bostick last week. Trust me, I liked Pitt before but that made them look that much better. You want to be blocking for one of the top quarterbacks in the country."

Matha earned first team Class AAAA Associated Press All-State and PA Football News All-State as a junior. He has been a two-year starter at offensive and defensive tackle. The Panthers are recruiting offensive lineman Jake Anderson (6-foot-5 inches, 280 pounds), Dan's teammate. Anderson has yet to receive an offer.

"I know that Pitt needs tackles. I believe that I can go to most programs and start. I'm going to factor in playing time when it comes to my final decision. Pitt seems to be thin at tackle. I like Coach (Dave) Wannstedt and the Pro-Style offense he has brought to Pitt."

Dan has three criteria in mind when visiting schools this summer. "I'm going to visit a bunch of schools over the summer. First I have to connect with the coaches. I plan on being at a school for four to five years. I have to feel comfortable with the coaches. Second, playing time is important. I want to play early. Lastly I want to go to a school with great academics. I realize that Pitt has a great academic reputation."

"I don't have a timetable for a decision. If I just feel the time is right and a school makes me say "wow", I could commit early."

Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at harrypsaros@msn.com.


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