football

Four-star OT enjoys UVA official

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Four-star offensive tackle R.J. Mattes took his second official visit of the season this past weekend to Charlottesville. The 6-foot-6, 259-pounder out of Concord (N.C.) Robinson was in attendance for Virginia's battle with Virginia Tech.
"Overall it was a great trip, a lot of fun," he said. "It sucked that they lost to Tech, but overall it was good.
"I got there on Friday around five and that night I went to the Aberdeen Barn. I got a big steak. Then afterwards, I met up with my host, Matt Conrath. I went out with him downtown to Mellow Mushroom and I got to hang out with the other players. I also chilled at some dorms and apartments."
What did Mattes think of Conrath?
"He's a real cool guy," he said. "He introduced me to everyone on the team. He showed me a great time. He did a heck of a job as a host and I had a lot of fun. He talked about how Coach Groh has created a pipeline to the NFL and how they transfer linemen from tall lean guys to NFL linemen. He said it's a great opportunity for me if I want to play in the pros."
On Saturday, the No. 33 offensive tackle in the country attended the Cavalier-Hokie game.
"It was the first time I had been to a Virginia/Virginia Tech game," he said. "I've been a Virginia fan my whole life and it was a packed house. There were a lot of UVA fans and Tech fans. It was just bad that Tech ended up winning.
"It was a great atmosphere. Playing for the ACC Championship game, people were pumped before the game. There was smack talk between Virginia and Virginia Tech fans."
Mattes took notice of the offensive line of the Cavaliers in the game.
"I like how they pull their linemen out and allow them to put kill shots on corners. I really like that."
Following the game, Mattes hung out with his host and went back downtown.
Before leaving Charlottesville today, the No. 8 prospect in North Carolina talked with the coaching staff.
"The offensive line coach talked to me about how they were the first ones to offer," he said. "They offered me the second day they could for juniors. He said that other schools may say I'm No. 1 on their board, but I've been No. 1 on Virginia's board forever. That was cool.
"I also met with Al Groh. He laid everything out for me. He told me Eugene Monroe has one year left and if I went to Virginia, I'd get a year under my belt, learning technique and then would get the possibility of getting playing time as a four-year starter. That's awesome."
The visit to Virginia was a good one for Mattes, but was it enough for him to name a leader?
"It was a great game and a great trip," he said. "I enjoyed everything. I'm still unsettled about a leader."
Mattes confirmed he plans to take his final three officials to Clemson, North Carolina and South Carolina. He mentioned he'll have to delay the South Carolina visit until January due to the Shrine Bowl, but will be heading to Chapel Hill this weekend for a visit to UNC.
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