Tar Heel State OL Has USC Offer

One of the top offensive line prospects in the state of North Carolina recently visited Columbia to see what all the Gamecocks have to offer, and USC is quickly moving up the athletic lineman's list of favorites. Are the Gamecocks now a contender in the race for this elite prospect? Read inside to find out.

Jay M. Robinson (Concord, NC) athletic offensive tackle R.J. Mattes is one of the most highly touted prospects in the Tar Heel State this recruiting year. Mattes, who measures in at an imposing 6'7 and 270 pounds, has seen his stock soar in recent months, and he already boasts an impressive list of offers.

"Right now I have eight offers. I'm getting letters from all over the place, and I'm getting text messages all the time," said Mattes. "My offers are from Virginia, Clemson, South Carolina, NC State, North Carolina, ECU, Wake Forest, and Duke."

While the recruiting process is just beginning to heat up for Mattes, three teams have an early lead in the race for his services.

"Right now, my top three I'd have to say is (North) Carolina, Virginia, and Clemson. With Clemson, I love the coaching staff down there. Coach Napier, my recruiting coach, I just feel real comfortable with him, and I talk to him a lot. That's why Clemson's up there. For North Carolina, when I went on my visit, Coach Pittman really got me interested in them. He's a real cool coach, and Coach Butch Davis looks like he's going to change that program around, plus it's close to home. With Virginia, my dad went there in the 1980‘s, and he played for them. I've always been interested in them growing up, going to see all their games. They were the first ones to offer me, so I've got interest in them."

Another team that is quickly rising up Mattes' list of favorites is South Carolina, and the elite Tar Heel State prospect came away impressed with what the Gamecocks have to offer after attending USC's junior day a couple of weeks ago.

"South Carolina, I didn't even know they were interested in me, and then I got a call the day before junior day to come down there. It's an SEC school, so of course I'm going to go down there. I went down there, and I enjoyed it a lot. I got to meet Steve Spurrier. I got to meet their O-line coach. I toured the facilities and got to check out the new uniforms they're getting for next year. I liked it a lot. It was pretty awesome down there."

After enjoying his time in Columbia, Mattes said that South Carolina is now very much on his radar.

"Obviously, Steve Spurrier being the coach draws a ton of interest, because he's one of the best coaches in the nation. They are way up there on my list."

Mattes, who is being recruited by Coach Fred Chatham for the Gamecocks, knows what factors he is looking for when deciding on the school of his choice.

"Well, basically I want to be comfortable with the coaches. I want to go somewhere that I'm comfortable with the coaching style. I want to be close to home and comfortable with all of the coaches and players."

The premier offensive line target also has a good idea of when he would like to make a decision.

"Right now I'm looking at making my decision a couple games into my senior season, because I want to make a couple of official visits and see how everything goes. I want to see how comfortable I'd be if I choose that college."

Mattes, who plays both left tackle and defensive end for his high school team, shared what strengths he brings to the football field.

"I've been told that I have great feet, and I have good technique. I'm a good pass blocker."

Mattes has already attended junior days at North Carolina, South Carolina, and NC State, and he hopes to make it to a spring practice at Clemson in the next month. Mattes also said he plans to attend spring games at NC State, Duke, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com for all the latest on this top offensive line prospect.

Gamecock Anthem Top Stories