Oklahoma doesn't often go to the Pacific Northwest to recruit its football players, so it's a rare occurrence that the Sooners have targeted a Spokane (Wash.) Mead tight end for the class of 2013.
OU offered Danny Mattingly, who is 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, a couple of weeks ago. And though he is now being looked at on the offensive side of the ball by the Sooners, his contact with the OU coaches didn't start that way.
“My first contact with OU was actually with a defensive coach,” Mattingly said. “I don’t remember who it was exactly, but they saw me on defense at first before things changed.”
Tight end hasn’t been a major priority for OU’s 2013 class, but tight ends coach Bruce Kittle has gone out of his way to let a few targets know just how much the Sooners are interested.
And how interested is OU in Mattingly? Enough for Kittle to fly out to Washington and meet with Mattingly last Friday afternoon.
“It went really well,” Mattingly said. “He seemed like a really nice guy. He talked to me and my football coach [Sean Carty]. He got to watch me work out. It was good to get to meet him. OU would be an amazing school to play for.”
Spokane Mead has produced players at Washington and Washington State as well as other Pac-12 schools. Carty knew he might have something special in Mattingly because of the pedigree of the family. Mattingly's older brother played for four years at Washington State. And when schools like Oregon and Boise State started calling about Danny Mattingly, Carty knew things might be a little different.
Carty grew up in Texas so he understands the high school football passion in Texas and Oklahoma.
“When teams like Oregon and Boise State are calling, you get pretty excited,” Carty said. “But then you have teams like OU and Alabama and getting offers from OU, it’s something else. It’s like seeing a new, shiny Cadillac pull up.”
Though Mattingly is high on the Sooners, no commitment decision will happen until he has seen the campus first. The one thing OU has in its favor, however, is the Sooners are in the conversation when it comes to a potential visit.
“I would love to get down there. I have no idea when it could happen, but I’m definitely interested,” Mattingly. “For Coach Kittle to fly all the way just to see me, that really means a lot. It makes me see how much OU cares.”
Mattingly has offers from Nebraska, Baylor and Oregon, among several others. At this point, distance doesn’t matter and neither does which position he will play. That doesn’t surprise Carty, who said the best thing about Mattingly is his love of the game.
“I love both positions,” Mattingly said. “I’ll do either one because there are good things with both spots. On defense, I love cracking heads. And offense is fun to be a part of and making blocks and catches. It’s a win-win.”