Gamecocks Make a Move With 4-star OL

After only signing two offensive linemen in the 2007 class, the Gamecocks are focusing on the O-line as one of their positions of priority this recruiting year, and one of their top targets was in Columbia over the weekend to take part in USC's one day camp. Are the Gamecocks now a contender in the race for the big man's services after his time on campus? Read inside to find out.

Jay M. Robinson (Concord, NC) 4-star offensive lineman R.J. Mattes is one of the top overall prospects in the Tar Heel State this year, and the highly touted lineman made his second trip to Columbia on Saturday to take part in South Carolina's one day camp. According to Mattes, who measures in at an athletic 6'6" and 260 pounds, he thoroughly enjoyed his time at USC, and he became very comfortable working with South Carolina's Offensive Line Coach, John Hunt.

"My trip to South Carolina went great," said Mattes. "I got to meet Coach Hunt, and I love his coaching style. He's a good coach. He even gave me a personal tour on a golf cart of the campus. I'd never seen it before, and I was like, ‘Wow, this is a beautiful campus.' I liked it a lot. It really opened my eyes about South Carolina."

Already a veteran of the recruiting process, Mattes liked Hunt's straight forward approach in letting him know how he could fit into the Gamecock program.

"When I went down there, he was just talking about how they recruit athletic linemen. He told me that if I went there, I'd be like the third most athletic lineman they've got now. He showed me their linemen and how they're in need of tackles, and he let me know that they want me pretty bad."

Although he doesn't currently claim any favorites, Mattes admitted that his visit to South Carolina moved the Gamecocks up his list.

"I don‘t really have any favorites at this moment, but South Carolina is definitely up there now. I really enjoyed their camp down there."

Mattes, who still plans to attend camps at Clemson, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and Virginia this summer, said he is looking for one main factor when visiting the different schools.

"Basically the whole reason I'm going to these camps is to check out their coaching styles and see if that fits me. I don't want to spend the next four or five years with a coach that I don't like how they coach. I really want to feel comfortable with them."

With offers in hand from major programs like South Carolina, Clemson, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, North Carolina, N.C. State and several others, Mattes said he plans on taking his time and checking out all of his options before making a decision on his college choice.

"I'm going to narrow things down coming up during my senior season, and then I'll probably take all five of my official visits. After that, I'll base my decision off my official visits."

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