Lines Of Interest

West Virginia is targeting big, rangy offensive tackle prospects in this year's recruiting class, and at least one player who fits that bill has the Mountaineers among his top choices.

Big Dan Matha (6-7, 310 lbs.) of McDowell High School visited West Virginia during the spring, and the things he saw on the Mountaineer campus vaulted WVU into one of his top spots.

"I just loved it," said Matha, whose frame will likely hold at least 20 more pounds in college. "I went to West Virginia on one of their junior days, and liked everything there. The coaches were great – Coach Trickett and Coach Rodriguez are two of the biggest reasons I like WVU. And the weight room was just the nicest one I've ever seen in my life.

"With Coach Trickett, what you see is what you get," Matha continued. "He is crazy guy, and knows his stuff for sure. "I just like him as an offensive line coach. My first offensive line coach was very similar to him. On the football field, it fires me up when a coach gets in your face and stays on you all the time. I respond to that kind of motivation."

Matha's visit made WVU "one of my top favorites, for sure", but the Mountaineers won't have an easy time landing the Pennsylvania standout. In addition to West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Maryland, Temple and Connecticut have offered scholarships, and Matha expects more offers to come soon.

"A number of other schools are also interested. I went to a Nike combine a couple of weeks ago, and the coaches there said I did well. I thought I did pretty well, but they thought I did even better. A number of the coaches got a good look at me, so I think I will be getting some more offers over the summer."

While many rising seniors are just beginning their summer odysseys to camps and combines, Matha said he is most likely finished. He does not plan to go to any one-day camps or combines over the summer, but will visit several schools, and also take his official visits during the fall. That seems to indicate he will not make his choice until after he takes his officials, but he noted that if the feeling is right he could commit earlier.

"I'll probably make my decision after the football season, but if it feels right to me and I decide on a school I won't drag it out," he explained. "I will probably take my official visits, because a lot of colleges have been in to my school to visit me, and I think that after they see [my senior film] I may get more offers.

Matha knows a bit of how the recruiting game is played. He was a freshman when outstanding line prospect Kyle Mitchum, who also attended McDowell, went through a lengthy process before choosing Ohio State over West Virginia. During that time, Matha observed everything that Mitchum had to deal with, and thus gained some experience that others didn't have the opportunity to get. It's certain he will put that knowledge to use as interest in him heats up.


Despite possessing NFL size, Matha believes his best attribute is quickness.

"At the combine, I was as fast as I have ever felt," he said. "Definitely, my feet, my quickness with my footwork, is my biggest asset. I think my agility and explosiveness are very good too."

While some of that may be natural talent, Matha also works hard to make sure he keeps his light feet as he gains size.

"I usually add five or ten pounds over the summer, so it won't surprise me at all if I am bigger this fall," he said. "I still have the frame to add more weight, and I will probably gain some from lifting. But I do agility training three times a week along with my lifting, because I want to stay as mobile as I can."

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West Virginia was at McDowell a couple of weeks ago, and figures to continue its all-out effort to land the promising tackle prospect.

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