Matthews Beefing Up for Fall

The tight end position has as many questions as any position heading into the 2009 season. In February, the Longhorns signed two tight end prospects that will be called up next season to add both talent and depth to the position. Burnt Orange Beat talked with North Shore's Barrett Matthews while in his normal place – the weight room.

If you walked into the North Shore field house over the last two years, you could find Barrett Matthews pretty easily. Go in the double doors and head straight down the hallway until you walk into the weight room.

Last week, Burnt Orange Beat's latest trip to North Shore was more of the same. Enter the field house, say a few hellos and walk in a straight line right into the weight room.

It was around 2:30pm and there were four players working away. As a surprise to no one, the future Longhorn tight end was one of the four. After seemingly challenging the squat rack and the power clean to a war of attrition, the 6-1.5, 220-pound rocked up tight end took a few minutes to speak with Burnt Orange Beat.

Despite having seen the two-time first team all-district pick for the two years, Matthews looked bigger and stronger than ever. As the most physical blocking tight end the Mustangs have produced put it, he's just following the plan Jeff Madden has set out for him.

"Man, I've gained five pounds already," Matthews said. "I'm up to 220 and I was 215 at the beginning of March. The workout that Texas has me on is a lot of explosion, high reps and basically just getting me bigger. I started at the first of March and will continue until I report to Austin."

Matthews' original plan for the spring was to run track on the Mustangs powerful squad featuring junior receiver Deandrew White, but he has since backed off of that and may run as district approaches. His focus right now is solely on preparing his body to play college football.

"I may run, but it will probably be around district. I'll probably get ready to run in the 100 and on relays, but I'm focused on working out right now," Matthews said.

One of the main reasons Matthews has changed his spring focus is the opportunity to come in and play as a freshman for a Longhorn team that will be ranked in the top three nationally and one of the favorites to play for the national title. Matthews says he stays in contact with three Texas coaches on a weekly basis.

"I stay in contact with Coach Giles, Coach Chambers and a little bit with Coach Brown. We talk a lot about route running, staying focused on my books and not letting them slip. We always talk about staying focused, staying away from trouble and they can't wait to get me down in June," Matthews said.

The physical tight end prospect continued, "I'm focused on working hard and trying my best to get that number one spot at tight end and help the team. Next, it would be nice to win a national championship. That would be nice every year, of course. I just want to play my hardest and prepare."

Matthews is seen as a versatile prospect that could line up in a number of positions or play a number of roles on an offense. The Longhorn coaches see him the same way and have mentioned different roles as well.

"They (coaching staff) talk to me about playing a true tight end, some slot back, H-back and slot tight end to get me on an island," Matthews said.

Matthews, like all other 2009 signees and 2010 commits, has been asked by the Texas staff to be in Austin on March 28 for a scrimmage. He has plans to be in Austin on that day as well as for the spring game.

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