Gilman School defensive end Mattheus Carroll has been a hot commodity going into 2019, and the recruitment process was, at times, difficult for Carroll, who stays positive and humble throughout his experience. After a slew of visits, calls, and meetings, Carroll came down to three universities to spend the next four years honing his skillset: Maryland, Duke, and Virginia Tech. The defensive end joins Sports Illustrated to announce his commitment and reason behind his decision.
Read the full transcript below:
John Garcia: It is commitment day here at Sports Illustrated, and we're excited to bring you the announcement of defensive end prospect Mattheus Carroll out of Gilman in Baltimore, Maryland. 6' 5", 225 lbs, a.k.a."stretch." So obviously length, there's some explosiveness there. It's why power five schools are in it for you. Before we get to that announcement, what's it been like just being a power five recruit, going through the process throughout COVID-19, the pandemic and the calendar shift that we've all experienced?
Mattheus Carroll: It has been good, actually. It's giving me a chance to focus on the schools that I want to. The communication has been, I would say, a little bit overwhelming with a lot of texts and phone calls and stuff but it's been all a good experience. All good stuff to take in. Like I said earlier, I shortened down my list and just gave me an opportunity to focus on the schools I want to. But, the hardest part of this was not being able to get the visits in that I wanted to. But I do feel confident in the visits that I have taken.
John Garcia: Well, let's jump right into it. The top three is Duke, Maryland, Virginia Tech. So an old school ACC trio, of course, Maryland now in the Big Ten. Mattheus, where are you headed to play your college football?
Mattheus Carroll: Well, first, I would just like to thank my parents and God for all the blessings he's given me throughout this whole thing. To my wrestling coach, coach Don, Gilman school, Coach Bach, my Hamilton family, Middle River family... That all being said, for the next three to four years, I will be attending the University of Virginia Tech.
John Garcia: The Hokies come into Maryland and pick up an edge rusher. He's got the hat, the V.T. logo there... Seems like this is a pretty contested situation. So we're going to kick it over to Ahmed Ghafir who is an expert for us at SI in the area.
Ahmed Ghafir: Mattheus, a big decision for you. What was it about the Hokies that solidified your decision?
Mattheus Carroll: I was really just the coaching staff. We had built really good relationships with the time that had passed through the shutdown and the combination of defensive coaches Darryl Tapp and Bill Teerlinck. I just believe that they will produce me and help me reach my full potential. Coach Fuente... that's a really good guy. I really trust and believe in him and, like I said, I really trust and believe in the whole situation. Also, the university worked for me as well. I'm excited to get there and start working.
Ahmed Ghafir: Absolutely. When did you know that this decision was final?
Mattheus Carroll: Really, just throughout multiple conversations, it started to become more and more clear to me. You know, the coaches were always really good at recruiting. I was talking to about four or five coaches on the staff. and just over time, it just became more clear with the consistency that they show with recruiting me.
Ahmed Ghafir: And what was it about head coach Justin Fuente and defensive line coach Darryl Tapp; their ability, it seemed like they always went out top target for you. What was it about them that solidified your decision and made you feel comfortable that they were the ones to develop you?
Mattheus Carroll: Yeah, they really want me to be a leader for the team there. They are sort of implementing a new defensive scheme that is going to take smart guys to take in the whole scheme and they really do like my family. We've had multiple Skypes, Zooms, Twitter... They reach out on Twitter, phone calls, all of that.
Ahmed Ghafir: Absolutely. And the last question: now that you've officially announced that you're headed to Blacksburg, talk about how you feel like you fit into the Virginia Tech defense.
Mattheus Carroll: I'm really looking forward to getting there, as I said, and I really do think my pass-rushing ability will be a huge strength for the defense and also my overall skill set. And, you know, just playing defensive end in their scheme, I think will work. And it's just really all about now getting the playbook and, you know, start processing this stuff now.
John Garcia: Who said there were no live sports? Mattheus Carroll, the newest Virginia Tech Hokie. Thanks for joining us.
Mattheus Carroll: Absolutely.
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