The guard had offers from Power-5 programs, but is prepping as a walk-on with the Cardinal

The lineman talks about what it means to join "The Tunnel Worker's Union".

The Stanford football name has become synonymous with large human beings paving the way literally and figuratively for skill position players to eat up chunks of yards.  The offensive linemen were tabbed as the "The Tunnel Workers Union" over the past few years, and this year the five scholarship recruits along the line - Clark Yarbrough, Nate Herbig, Devery Hamilton, Henry Hattis and Dylan Powell - are known as "The Fat Five". 


There is a sixth lineman recruit, a walk-on named Matthew Gutwald, who had multiple offers from Power-5 programs but chose the Cardinal. So what do the Cardinal-faithful call the group now? The Thick Six? Gutwald is not too concerned with the title and focused on getting ready to help his team.

"We’re just going to get there and work really hard and we’ll see what happens there," Gutwald said. "I think we are going to stick with the “Tunnel Worker’s Union” that the older classes have adopted."


The group has wasted no time getting to know one another. Members of the group have met while on visits to Stanford. Gutwald and Clark Yarborough were recently at a Stanford open practice, and Gutwald believes that will help build camaraderie and improve their games.


"It’s really great to have a good understanding of how (other recruits) operate mentally and how their approach is," Gutwald said. "You can learn stuff from that and just put it into your own game and work ethic so it’s really good to know."

The three-star guard said it came down to walking on at Stanford or Notre Dame for college.
The Cardinal was too good to pass up.

"Stanford is everything I could have imagined. As a school, it’s just the best education you can get in the country, and they finished in the top three or four for football this year and they have shown they have been on the rise," Gutwald said. "But mostly, it was the education I could have gotten and I love the Bay Area."

Gutwald should fit right in with the Cardinal. He describes himself as a "tough, nasty kid that (has) a real mean streak". He has modeled his game after past Cardinal bulldozers like David DeCastro, Joshua Garnett, Andrus Peat and Kyle Murphy and repeatedly spoke of his excitement to play under Mike Bloomgren.

Gutwald made a legacy at Dublin High School in California, both on the football field and campus. He was a dominant player on the gridiron, also held a 4.4 GPA and was a member of student government. 

He wants to leave the same mark on Stanford along with his other 2016 recruits.

"As a unit, we hope to carry on the legacy," Gutwald said. "I want to be known as one of the best, like all these guys that we are talking about. I want to be known as a guy that is the best run blocker in the country right now... and just someone who earned everything they got and didn’t just get a physical gift, they earned it in the weight room and on their runs and stuff like that," 

Gutwald hopes to study chemistry at Stanford and wants to incorporate finance into his future profession as well, stating “it’s the building blocks of life really and the building blocks of everything around you, and going into the business side of that would be really cool".

As a walk-on, he may face a slightly different path than most of the Stanford football players, but he said when he speaks to his future coaches and teammates, it is all about one common goal.

"I just really to want to win a national championship and be set for life when I set the gear down and am done with football."

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