River Ridge (La.) John Curtis three-star defensive back Mattrell McGraw wrapped up his senior football season as a John Curtis Patriot by claiming his third state championship ring, and now he turns his attention to the recruiting process.
The 6-foot, 180-pound standout has received offers from the likes of Florida State, UCLA, Oregon, Alabama, Michigan, and Ohio State, but as he looks at the process two schools stand out from the rest.
"I have a top two - UCLA and Oregon," McGraw said. "I took a visit to Oegon this past week and I'll take a visit to UCLA once the dead period is over some time. Those are basically my top schools and I'm just trying to figure out the pros and cons of those two. I'll see which school has the best school for my degree. I'm trying to go to school for public relations, so I'll see which school has the best track and figure out the pros and cons."
McGraw made the trip to Oregon the day after he claimed the state title with his teammates, and there were a few aspects of the trip which stood out in his mind.
"The coaches, how much the coaches made me feel at home," McGraw said. "They welcomed me with open arms. They rolled out the red carpet. My mom, she liked it. They basically explained the situation I would be in if I were to come there and told me how much they want me. I got a chance to chill with De'Anthony Thomas a lot and I got a chance to break down film with the coach."
The standout defensive back was hosted by Juwaan Williams, and in addition to his official visit McGraw has also hosted an in-home visit with the Ducks.
As for UCLA, he does not have a date scheduled yet, but mentioned he may take his official visit with teammates Malachi Dupre and Kenny Young. He does not claim a favorite between the two programs
"No, I know a lot of people think Oregon is my favorite just because I post a lot of stuff about them, but UCLA and Oregon are both neck and neck," McGraw said. "I like UCLA a lot. My two friend - Kenny (Young) and Malachi Dupre - with both of them having UCLA offers and all of us possibly at the same school that's a big upside for UCLA. Then coach Mora and the whole UCLA coaching staff has valuable experience in the NFL. That would only benefit me playing for coaches who coached in the NFL because I would be pro ready.
"So UCLA and Oregon are neck and neck to be honest with you. I'm just trying to separate the pros and cons. Now its no longer about the football stand point. It's about the educational parts and which school for my degree, public relations, and where I fit in best on and off the field. It's thing like that that will kind of set those two schools apart."
Along with Oregon and UCLA, McGraw did mention Arizona but the Wildcats are playing catch up to the Ducks and Bruins.
Regardless of his choice it does appear he is headed to the Pac-12 in the near future, and, as McGraw is quick to point out, there are plenty of reasons.
"I grew up watching SEC football and things like that, but my mentors and role models growing up were Joe McKnight and Jonathan McKnight and both of them went to the Pac-12 and I always paid attention to the Pac-12," McGraw said. "Then the Pac-12 throws the ball a lot and I'm a DB so you get a chance to catch an interception about 60 times a game. So I feel if I go to the Pac-12 I'll have a chance to really showcase my skills against some of those top quarterbacks. The Pac-12 is a quarterback league so I'll have a chance to play against a lot of soon-to-be professional quarterbacks and a lot of up-tempo schemes which would only bring the best out of me. Then I feel like the Pac-12 is kind of that conference at the SEC-level. It's either the Pac-12 or the SEC and I can't go wrong with either or but so far I think the Pac-12 schools fit me the best and those are the schools I like the most."
McGraw says he will likely announce his final decision on signing day.