Determined Outlook

Despite getting fewer snaps than he hoped in the Big 33 all-star football game, WVU-bound Charles Matthews didn't let his frustration show on the field.

Caught in a numbers game at wide receiver (Matthews' Ohio squad listed eight on its roster), the Solon native didn't get much time at wideout in the contest. Matthews was on the field for a handful of snaps, but didn't see a ball come his way. He was also a deep receiver on the kickoff return team, but again, as fate would have it, didn't see a kick come to his side of the field.

Although Matthews certainly didn't envision his high school career ending in that manner, he didn't let it affect his play when he did get into the game. He ran his routes crisply and put effort into his blocks. When asked about the lack of playing time, Matthews was diplomatic, although it was easy to sense his frustration.

"I don't know..." he started when asked about the lack of playing time. "We went out there and worked hard. It was a tough loss, but we tried our hardest."

It's a big difference from HS I am in a play out again, and its tough to get into a rhythm.

Matthews was quick, however, to point out the bright spots of his Big 33 selection

"What more could you ask for? It was a great week, and a great experience. I enjoyed myself. I definitely learned some things I can use in college. The game tempo was a lot quicker. I learned some things in practice, too."

Matthews is set to report to West Virginia on July 1 with the rest of the incoming class, but he isn't going to take any time off before then.

"I'm going to work as hard as I can to get ready so when I go down to WVU I can compete. Everybody is bigger than me, stronger than me and just as fast, so I am going to have to pay attention to every detail so I can have a chance. Hopefully I can learn fast."

At five feet, ten inches, Matthews is destined for a slot receiver position, but he doesn't view his stature as a handicap. He has seen the way that players such as Steve Slaton have excelled in college, and believes that he can do the same.

"I look at guys like Marvin Harrison in the NFL," said the determined Matthews. "I feel that if he can do it [at that size] then I can do the same thing. I just have to work as hard as I can."

Matthews also came out of the Big 33 with another assest for college -- a friendship with a teammate. That can be an important factor in getting through all of the new experiences that college brings, not to mention the grueling summer workouts that lie ahead.

"Will Johnson and I built a good relationship this week, so we are going to talk to the coaches and ask if we can be roomates," said Matthews. The pair were often lined up on the same side of the field, so they got the chance to work together a bit during the week of practice before the Big 33 game.


Despite his obvious disappointment at not getting more playing time, it was good to see the manner in which Matthews handled it. He didn't mope on the sideline, and put all of his effort into play when he did get onto the field. His determination to make his mark at WVU was also evident, so there aren't likely to be any concerns about his attitude or outlook when he joins the Mountaineer team.

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