Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Q&A: 2014 La. safety Mattrell McGraw
By Max Olson
Texas has already offered scholarships to seven Louisiana prospects for its 2014 class, and an eighth is likely coming soon for Mattrell McGraw.
The 6-foot, 180-pound safety from powerhouse River Ridge (La.) John Curtis holds more than 20 offers and got an invite from UT secondary coach Duane Akina to attend the Orange-White spring game on March 30.
Here's the latest on McGraw's recruitment and his plans for narrowing down a long list of college options.
HornsNation: You’ve got an awful lot of offers right now. Are there any schools working harder than the rest right now?
Mattrell McGraw: As of now, everybody is on the same page. I have been in a lot of talks with Alabama, but there hasn’t been anything that makes them stand out. I’m going to visit there this weekend with my father. They haven’t offered yet. Everybody is really the same right now, and I understand that because it’s the spring time and they can’t really recruit as much as they want to. I know things will get more intense and heat up once spring ball is done.
HN: What other visits are you looking to take right now?
McGraw: I have Alabama this weekend and I’ll possibly have Texas on March 30. And then I’ll have Oregon on April 19. As of now, that’s all I know.
HN: As a guy who grew up in Louisiana, do you know much about the Longhorns at this point?
McGraw: Yes sir. I’m definitely familiar with Texas, man. I’ve always liked Texas but I always knew that they didn’t recruit out of Texas. It was kind of a shock when I got in contact with them and people were telling me they were offering. Texas is up there. I could possibly see, when things boil down, Texas having a real good chance of staying in my top three or four schools. As of now, everyone is even. I’ll probably name my top three or four at the end of the summer.
HN: You play for arguably the best high school football program in the country at John Curtis, or at least the most successful one. Your coach has now won a record 25 state titles. How high does that set your own bar of expectations?
McGraw: Yeah, that’s one thing I talk about with all the coaches. I come from a very winning program. I’ve been winning since I was in eighth grade. In my career, I’ve only lost two games, and as a starter I haven’t lost yet. I started my sophomore year and played a lot my freshman year. Winning is going to play a big part in where I decide to go.
HN: Most people assume that a top prospect from Louisiana isn’t leaving the state unless LSU doesn’t offer. You’ve got offers from all over. Are you playing things a little differently?
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McGraw: I’m definitely playing it differently. My parents, their objective on the whole thing is to go where it best fits you and where you’re happy. It’s my decision. Do I like LSU? Of course. It’s the in-state school. But if LSU offers, am I going to commit? Not at all. They’re very deep in the secondary with Jalen Mills and their freshman corners. I’m trying to play early and I really want to be on the field and contribute to my team. I’m not ruling LSU out, but LSU is not No. 1 on my list right away.
HN: And what about Alabama? What would an offer this weekend mean for you?
McGraw: To be honest with you, it would help them but it wouldn’t stop my recruitment. It’s kind of the same with Alabama. They sign top-five defensive backs every year and all their defensive backs are like 6-foot-1. It would be an option for me and open up my mind and I’d like to play for a championship-caliber team, which is important, but that’s not all. That doesn’t do me any good if I don’t play until my junior or senior year.
HN: You mentioned Texas and Oregon, but are there other schools you’re hoping to check out this summer?
McGraw: Oklahoma State, Arizona and UCLA. Going into the season, I want to have at least three schools that have separated themselves from the pack. If you have five, that puts you back into the process where you’re scratching your head. It’s hard to do the pros and cons with five schools.