Mathew Malele: In His Own Words

Editors Note: This week, Carson (Calif.) defensive lineman Mathew Malele discusses how personal tragedy has caused him to re-think where he should go to college and a new team enters the mix.

It's been a very tough year so far for me and my family. As most know, our family is very close from the grandparents down to all the cousins. That's why it's been so hard that in the last two weeks, two of my cousins have passed away. I was set to visit Arizona State last weekend but I had to attend a funeral and I'll be going to another one this weekend.

As a result, I won't be able to make a trip to ASU so they're off my list right now. What this has done is make me value staying close to home more than ever to be close with my family. My family has always been the most important thing in my life along with my relationship with God but that is even truer now. I've decided I want to stay close to home for college and that has caused some changes in the schools I'm looking at.

I'm down to three schools, Cal, Washington and Tennessee. I really like Tennessee a lot but realistically, it's between the two Pac 10 schools just because of the location. It's weird because I wasn't really considering Washington that much until recently and now they're one of my favorites. I talked to Coach Neuheisal today and I'm very high on going to Washington.

Cal is completely new to my list but I've actually been thinking about them for a while because my older brother Mel goes to school there. He's a freshman and isn't playing football but might go out for the team as a walk on next year. He really likes it there and me and my family have gone up to see him about four times this year. So even though I won't be taking an official visit there, I know the campus and the school really well. Coach Tedford will be coming over to my house Wednesday and I'm looking forward to visiting with him.

Tennessee will be coming over on Thursday. I'm not sure what coach right now but I think Coach Slade. Coach Fullmer has already been over to the house once. Right now, I couldn't say who is my leader but by the end of the week, I should have a better idea of what's going on.

With the tragedy's that have taken place, I've also decided not to have a press conference on Signing Day any more. All of a sudden, that doesn't seem so important to me now and I really don't want to bring all that attention to me. The recent events have really put things in perspective for me and have helped to show me what really matters. I'm just going to pray over my decision, talk things over with my family and decide as soon as I feel I know where the best place for me is.

*** Special thanks to Greg Biggins of for his work on this article.

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