football

Mathis back from Pac-12 trip

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Joe Mathis has been talking a lot with the Utah coaching staff and this past weekend the four-star defensive end from Upland, Calif., finally got a chance to visit.
It went really well and the Utes are definitely a serious contender in his recruitment.
"It was cool," Mathis said. "I enjoyed myself. When I first got there I got picked up and went to my hotel and everything was plush. There were signs for me and all these people there.
"I went to lunch with the coaches and some players and I got a little tour. I went to go eat again and then went back to the hotel and then went to the game. I watched the game and I was definitely impressed."
Mathis, a 6-foot-4, 254-pound recruit who could play defensive end or even linebacker, said Utah's coaching staff did a tremendous job recruiting him. They made it clear they wanted him as part of the team without being overbearing or forceful.
It was a refreshing approach to Mathis, rated as the No. 10 strong-side defensive end and the No. 151 prospect in the 2013 class by Rivals.com.
"They weren't saying, 'We hope you commit' but they want me there really badly,'" Mathis said.
"They're not the type of coaches who would say that. They want me but they're not going to say I need to commit. If I want to be there then I want to be there. That's pretty cool. They weren't stressing me about it."
When the Upland star met some players, though, it became clear they wanted him to make his pledge on the spot. That didn't happen but Mathis said it was a good experience overall.
"Coach (Kyle) Whittingham introduced me to the players and said I was a four-star and I had over 50 offers and I was on my official trip and they said they saw my highlights and that I needed to commit," Mathis said.
"I said I couldn't do that right now. I'm still keeping them in mind. I liked it there. It was cool. I still have a couple more months left but they're still in mind."
As for visits, Mathis, who plans to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, said he would like to take a trip to Hawaii next. Going to Alabama and Texas A&M, and possibly Washington, are still being seriously considered but probably won't happen until after the season.
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