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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
ESPN 300 DE Joe Mathis setting visits

By Erik McKinney

Four-star defensive end Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) is one of the more sought-after uncommitted defensive prospects in the West, and the 6-foot-4, 255-pound standout will give two schools a chance to make a big impression in the coming weekends.

Joe Mathis
Joe Mathis will take an official visit to USC this weekend for the Washington game.
Mathis originally committed to Washington during his junior season, but pulled back on his commitment shortly afterward. Now, with the Huskies still in pursuit, he plans to take an official visit this weekend when they host the USC Trojans. It will be the first official visit for Mathis.

"I want to see if I like it there and if it feels like family, if I can relate with the players and have a good time," Mathis said. "I want to see if it feels like I can stay there for four years."

Mathis said that about 10 schools continue to push hard for a commitment from him, and said he will definitely take visits to Arizona State, Texas A&M and Utah in addition to Washington. The Utes will likely get a visit from him next, as he could take a trip there Oct. 26 when they host California.

Mathis already has nine sacks this season despite facing double and triple teams. He said at this point, he is far more focused on what happens on the field rather than in recruiting. This past Friday, he helped lead a terrific defensive effort in a 19-7 victory over Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) to help keep Upland undefeated. Mathis singled out the opposing offensive tackle who provided a tough challenge, but also spread his praise equally among his teammates.

"That was a good game and a great team win," Mathis said. "There were no individuals this time. Everybody pitched in and I'm so happy with the win."