Big wideout making big waves at Harbor

Sometimes big-time players play out of position in high school and don't get looks from four-year programs because of their lack of production. Los Angeles Harbor WR Chris Matthews (6-5, 205) played tight end as a prep and was rarely thrown to, but after a solid freshman season for the Seahawks, Matthews is set up to be one of the top wideouts in the country this coming fall.

"I played tight end at Dorsey so I didn't get much attention," Matthews told recently. "I only had eight catches my senior year so a lot of schools just passed on me.

"My coach's brother is a coach at UCLA and they knew I was looking around for a school so they suggested I try Harbor. The coaches here told me they wanted me at wide receiver and that's what I wanted to play and the rest is history."

Matthews had a stellar season while playing opposite one of the top JC wideouts in the country in Deryn Bowser, even outshining the elder wideout at times.

"I had 32 catches for 529 yards and four touchdowns, but I could have had more," Matthews admitted. "I was still trying to get used to running routes from the outside and stuff like that so it was a challenge for me. This year, I won't have to worry about thinking about things as much and I can just go out and play."

Even with his size and speed combo, Matthews isn't sitting around waiting to be good. He's been working out five days a week in preparation for what he hopes will be an even better sophomore season.

"I want to get my speed down a 4.4," Matthews said. "That's really the big thing for me because I run a 4.5 now and I want to be a threat from all over.

"I also want to get stronger in my upper body. I've been hitting the weights hard and I think I've improved in that area. I'm a threat in the redzone, I don't feel anyone can stop me in there and getting stronger will make me that much better in there."

On the recruiting front, Matthews is already hearing quite a bit from several four year programs, including the one that placed him at Harbor in the first place.

"Oregon and UCLA have been the main two right now," Matthews said. "I know it's early so I'm just going to be patient.

"LSU has been sending me a lot of letters and Kentucky, Kansas, Oregon State, Tennessee, Ole Miss, Arizona and Utah have been sending me stuff too."

Since Harbor runs a spread offensive scheme, one might think Matthews would prefer the wide-open attack at the next level, but that isn't necessarily the case.

"Actually, I was in a pro-style offense in high school," Matthews said. "I can play in any scheme. I learn quickly and I can use my size however a team wants to use me. It's all the same to me, just throw the ball and I will go up and get it."

Matthews is on pace to graduate in December and he'll have three years to play two wherever he ends up.

We'll continue to follow his progress over the coming months and update things as they change.

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