Pennsylvania lineman far from an ordinary player

Sometimes, one needs to look at more than statistics or awards when evaluating a prospect. A prospect's off the field interests will tell you a lot about his character and desire. Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing a very interesting young man who had some adventurous hobbies.

Matt Daube, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive guard at Dallas (Pa.) High School, is very active in the Boy Scouts of America and is close to achieving the rank of Eagle Scout. Scouting has given Matt the opportunity to live life on the edge while getting ready to partake in some truly remarkable adventures. He has backpacked the Cimarron Mountains in New Mexico, the Appalachian Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains in New York. It is rather appropriate, then, that Dallas High School's mascot is the Mountaineer.

What is the most demanding part of these trips? "It's not easy carrying a 50 pound backpack while hiking in the mountains," Daube said.

Do not let the Boy Scout reference fool you though; Matt is quite the football player. He has been getting written interest from Virginia, Akron. Matt would not mind following in the footsteps of former Mountaineer lineman Penn State, Iowa, and Indiana.

Connecticut has an in with Daube as well. His aunt and uncle are both graduates of Connecticut and he has two cousins who are freshmen there as well. Matt's father Art is originally from the Danbury area of Connecticut. The Daubes spent five years in Steubenville, Ohio, which gave them a chance to experience a taste of Western Pennsylvania.

"We are fans of the Penguins and Steelers, and we try to watch as many Pitt games as we can," Matt said.

Matt is currently working out under the watchful eye of one of his uncles, who hails from Connecticut. His uncle is a competition power lifter who competes drug free and has his own power lifting team. He is also a personal trainer, so he is helping Matt get the most out of his body and trains Matt in speed, conditioning, and psychology. The psychology part of the training teaches Matt how to harness everything and apply it to athletics.

Daube has attended junior day at Maryland and enjoyed his trip. He has been invited to Wisconsin, Virginia, and Tennessee. Tennessee has invited him to take in spring practice.

"I am trying to figure out where all I am going to go," he said.

Daube was a second-team Wyoming Valley Conference All-Star plays in a run-oriented offense with a scrambling quarterback.

"Our QB is only 5-8, so he has trouble seeing over the line, he is always scrambling," Daube said. "When he takes off running it makes us hold our blocks longer than normal."

When asked if there was a particular NFL or college player he emulated, Daube stuck with a Dallas alumnus.

"I like to watch John Simonitis from Pittsburgh," Daube said. "He was a senior when I was a freshman. In the NFL I just try and watch all the line play and see how they do it."

Daube, who bench presses 325 pounds and squats 575, also competes in the shot put and discus at Dallas. He has a 26-inch vertical jump and runs the 40-yard dash in 5.3 seconds.

As for prospective colleges, Daube said, "I want them to have my major English Education or Communications. They should have a good reputation, and I have to like the atmosphere."

"If I get the right offer, I will probably (decide) right away," he said. "I want to get all the BS out of the way so I can concentrate on football and school."

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