Family vibe swayed Mattox to WSU

A SINGLE PHONE CALL might have been enough to keep DE Hunter Mattox with Oregon State. That phone call never came and the perseverance of the Washington State coaching staff, coupled with a visit last weekend to the Palouse, convinced the 6-4, 260-pound Mattox to flip his verbal commitment to Washington State. And Mattox says he's done - this was the first and last time he will switch his pledge.

CF.C: Why did you switch from Oregon State to Washington State?
Hunter Mattox: "One of the main reasons was, after (Mike) Riley left, I never received a call from administration or any of the coaches for two weeks. I thought it was, not disrespectful, but left me out in the open where I didn't know if I was going to stay at the college, or if they were going to take my scholarship. I didn't know who the coach was going to be coming up, and I didn't really want to go to a team that was having a new coach come in. I opened up and I wanted to see what else there was, and see what I would like so I visited Washington State.

"Being up there just reassured the fact that I really did like the school, because they had been recruiting me since sophomore year. When I was up there, it was just like family. It was like the school I'm at now (Sierra Canyon), where academics are a main priority, and football is on the rise...The coaching staff was amazing, and the players, we bonded immediately. All the players didn't want me to leave because we had so much fun together, so that's why I decided to commit, because I felt it was a really comfortable place for me to be at, and to be for four years.

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CF.C: Are you 100 percent Washington State now?
Mattox: "Yeah."

CF.C: Is there anything that would cause you to change your decision again?
Mattox: "No."

CF.C: Which coaches were you in the most contact with?
Mattox: "I was with Coach (Jim) Mastro (area recruiter) and Coach Joe (Salave'a).

CF.C: What are your thoughts on Salave'a, your future position coach?
Mattox: "He's an awesome man. He's really cool, and I think I can look up to him and want to be like him, that's for sure."

CF.C: WSU has not named a defensive coordinator yet, did that have any effect on your decision to verbally commit?
Mattox: "I know they have one coming on... there is definitely one coming. I just don't know who it is though. I have no idea."

CF.C: What was your favorite part of the visit?
Mattox: "Spending time with the team. The players were just a blast, and we all got to hang out and bond more. I think it was, more or less, getting to know everybody and everybody getting to know me that was the fun part. Getting to see all the new facilities was a plus, too."

CF.C: What did you think of the facilities?
Mattox: "Pretty much everything is state of the art. Everything they have is practically brand new. You have to go see it in person to really understand how immense everything is, and how new everything is. It's really cool to really see. When I saw (renderings) on the computer, it was pretty big. But until you go and see it, it's insane."

CF.C: How do they compare to the facilities at Oregon State?
Mattox: "They're a lot bigger, and they're building an indoor football field for practicing that's supposed to be absolutely humongous."

CF.C: Which players did you bond with the most?
Mattox: "Nick Begg, and then all the defensive line guys."

CF.C: Was there one thing that set Washington State apart from others in your mind?
Mattox: "It wasn't like other colleges where everybody kind of just did their own thing, but didn't really talk to each other, like certain players hanging out with certain players. Here it was like a family. Everybody hung out with everybody, and no one thought less of anybody. It just seemed like everybody was just a family, and there was no criticizing or anything. That was a really nice thing to see."

CF.C: What did you think of the college-town feel of Pullman?
Mattox: "I kind of like that. Don't get me wrong. It always gets packed... You wouldn't really feel that small-town feel once you're there. When you see it (maybe) you would think it's kind of small but when you get out and go meet people, it's really not as small as you thought at first. It's actually pretty nice. I actually liked it a lot."

CF.C: Talk about the time you spent with Mike Leach.
Mattox: "Yeah, he's an awesome man. I thought he was the coolest guy ever."

CF.C: How important is early playing time to you?
Mattox: "I'm not saying it could happen. It's a high possibility I could be doing (it) freshman year. If I work and I get the right training and I get to where they think I'm solid, I could play my first game as a freshman. I just have to work, and if I don't work, then that's the reason why I wouldn't, but I'm not the type to not work."

CF.C: What position does Washington State like you at?
Mattox: "More than likely, defensive end."

CF.C: Any plans for any other official visits and/or do you have any more in-home visits scheduled for January?
Mattox: "No, not that I know of. All I know is Washington State is coming, Coach Leach, Coach Mastro, and I think Coach Joe are coming down for an in-home visit in January.

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