Matthias Outshines the Rest

Although his high school team went 0-9 his junior year, that didn't stop a bunch of offers from rolling in for Hemlock offensive tackle Zac Matthias, including one from Wisconsin on Saturday.

Any athlete that is being heavily recruited by a major division one school that played on a winless high school team has got to have something special stick out about them.

Hemlock High School offensive tackle Zac Matthias falls into that category.

"We struggled a lot last year," Matthias told Badger Nation. "We were 0-9, struggled every game and hopefully this year we can change that."

But the struggles of the Huskies were not because of Matthias, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive tackle that already has the size and footwork ability to be a successful lineman in a major division one program.

So after receiving his first two offers from local colleges Western and Central Michigan, Matthias came to Wisconsin's annual spring game hoping to get his first big scholarship offer.

He didn't leave disappointed in his first visit to the capital city.

"Coach Bielema came and talked to me and it was nice to talk to him about football," Matthias said. "He told me what I need to work on and some things that he really liked about me. He liked how I kept my feet under my body and I didn't lead too much when I am blocking, like a lot of big guys do. He did say I need to get a little faster and a little more explosive.

"He told me what he thinks Wisconsin football is all about, he wants me to be apart of that and gave me the offer," he added. "He's a real nice guy and it was a perfect conversation to get me equated with him and Wisconsin."

With his offer in hand before the game even started, Matthias had plenty of time to focus on the offensive linemen, who made quite an impression on the high school junior.

"When I first met them, they were all in their pads and made them look even bigger," he said. They're a big bench of guys. I got to meet them all, shake all their hands and they're real nice guys. I really like that about them. They seem real close together."

Matthias also got a chance to meet wide receivers coach DelVaughn Alexander, who primarily recruits the state of Michigan and has been Matthias recruiting contact throughout the process.

"We're pretty close by now," Matthias said of Alexander. "Before I went and visited and got the offer, we talked a couple times on the phone and he's a real nice guy. I finally got to meet him on Saturday. He's a real nice guy, he wants the best for me and he wants the best for Wisconsin."

One of the things, in addition to his size, that attracted Wisconsin to Matthias was his ability to be a successful run blocker. Although his preference is pass blocking, one of his better strengths, Matthias does not shy away from opening up holes for the backs and likes the amount of successful running backs and linemen that have come from Wisconsin.

"It's real fun to get down in the dirt and just push some guys around," Matthias said. "If I go there (UW), I am going to be blocking for some good backs. Wisconsin has put out a lot of good running backs and linemen and it will be a real good experience."

Matthias next plans to go to camps at Michigan, Michigan State and the NIKE combine camp down in Columbus, Ohio and is hoping to verbally commit to a school in August before his senior season.

Currently, Matthias 40-time is 5.3 and he maxs out at 300 pounds on the bench and 510 on the squat.

"I definitely want to get my 40-time down between a 5.1 and a five flat," he said. "I was to get my bench up to at least 350 pounds but I am pretty good with my squat. I just need to pick up the conditioning with my legs."

Another thing Matthias is trying to improve upon is team moral by trying to bring the team together. After going 0-for-the season last year, Matthias has taken it upon himself to step into a leadership role, something he is comfortable doing and a responsibility he enjoys having.

"This summer, I am trying to bring our team together," Matthias said. "It seemed that everyone was trying to do our own thing on the football field last year and it never worked. I want to get everyone in the weight room and hopefully, everyone shows up and we can learn stuff about each other, come together as a team and go play football."

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