With blood splattered on the front of his white camp T-shirt, Ryker Mathews proved over and over during one-on-one drills last week at the Provo NIKE Camp why he's regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in the country.
Mathews, a 6-foot-6, 277-pound tackle from American Fork, Utah, showed his toughness and his tenacity coupled with outstanding footwork and solid technique. No one pushes Mathews around. He earned the offensive line MVP at the camp and it's easy to see why four programs have already offered him.
"I worked hard for it," Mathews said. "This was an awesome camp. I loved it."
BYU and Utah stand out more than Kansas and Utah State at this point but Mathews admitted it's still way early in the recruiting process and he hasn't come to any decisions and probably won't for some time.
"I'm still just trying to sort through everything right now, still just a big toss up for me," he said.
The in-state schools stand out a little more for understandable reasons: They're closer to home, family could come see him play, he's more familiar with BYU and Utah.
The Utes are headed to the Pac-10 and it could play something of an influence on Mathews, rated as the No. 12 offensive tackle and No. 104 prospect nationally, and his decision but he said it will not completely negate other teams from other conferences.
"I love their stadium a lot," Mathews said of Utah. "I love the turf. Their indoor facility is just as good as BYU.
"It will make a little impact on my decision (Utah going to the Pac-10) but not like huge, not like they're going to the Pac-10 and so I'm definitely going there now. They'll be playing a lot better schools. It will help them recruiting-wise. They can say they play a lot of the best teams in the nation."
BYU, though, is certainly in contention, too.
Mathews has a solid relationship with the coaching staff - including coach Bronco Mendenhall - and the facilities are some of the best in the nation. BYU's indoor facility rivals many across the country and that could play a factor in Mathews' decision.
"Coach Mendenhall is great," Mathews said. "He's an awesome guy. The facilities are awesome. You can't get much better than this. The fields are always taken care of, it's always green grass and it's just an awesome stadium."