Matthews Makes It Official

Cheraw (SC) 5-star defensive end Cliff Matthews signed with the home state Gamecocks around 10:30 on Wednesday morning. The elite pass rushing specialist, who claimed defensive MVP honors at both the Shrine Bowl and the Offense-Defense All American Game, becomes the most highly touted defensive prospect to sign with USC in the Steve Spurrier era.

The 6'5, 230 pound Matthews, who is rated as the #6 defensive end in the country by, is pleased with how South Carolina's 2007 recruiting class has finished up, and he believes that they can help put USC over the top.

"This class has come along real strong, and I'm looking forward to playing with these athletes that are committed," said Matthews. "This year we were close with not much (talent), but this class is going to add to that, and hopefully we‘re going to win an SEC Championship."

Matthews is currently playing basketball, but after the hardwood season finishes up he said that he plans to run track and hit the weight room hard before arriving at USC in the summer.

"I run track also, so that's going to get me in shape. I'm going to lift weights and get stronger by the summer."

The Palmetto State standout shared a glimpse of what Gamecock fans can expect from him beginning next season.

"I plan on playing early. They can expect an impact player on defense and a difference maker, especially on third and long. I plan on making at least twelve sacks to break the freshman sack record."

Matthews has become good friends with 2006 freshman standout defensive end Eric Norwood, and the reigning freshman All-American has given Matthews a good idea of what to expect next season.

"He's a real cool person, and he's sort of let me in on what's going on and where I‘m supposed to be and stuff like that. He told me it's going to be a challenge, but it's a lot of fun."

Matthews closed by sharing a message with the Gamecock Nation.

"I want to give a shout out to the greatest fans in the world."

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