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November 3, 2012
It was a dream for Joe Mathis to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, and now it's being realized so quickly.
The four-star defensive end from Upland, Calif., was presented with his Army game jersey on Friday and for the 6-foot-4, 254-pound standout, it's another accomplishment in a long list of successes.
"It's cool," Mathis said.
"It's a dream come true. Ever since I was little, I wanted to play in this game and now it's becoming a reality for me. It's every kid's dream that plays football and works hard at football."
Mathis, rated as the No. 10 strong-side defensive end and No. 151 in the 2013 class by Rivals.com, has never shied away from competition.
He attendd every major event he could this past offseason, including the Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge and The Opening. He went to a camp in Michigan. Mathis would go anywhere to compete and when he got there, the defensive end went all out.
It was almost a surprise not to see Mathis on the sidelines at an event, even when Upland was in 7-on-7 competitions. Sometimes, Mathis would line up at linebacker and compete like he did in Las Vegas this spring.
The competition is one of the main reasons he's so looking forward to his weeklong trip to San Antonio.
"You get to hit more and get to show more stuff with pads and it's just going to be better," Mathis said. "I'm just trying to have a good time and enjoy playing in my last game."
Recruiting has been an adventure for Mathis, who committed to Washington early in the recruiting process, but has been open for nearly an entire year.
The Huskies are still involved but others are right there. The four-star recently took an official visit to Utah and things went well. No commitment was made, but the Utes could be in good shape.
Originally, he was going to visit Hawaii during the season, but Mathis said he now wants to focus on the playoffs and might delay any trips.
Going to Alabama and Texas A&M were intended for later anyway.
"I don't have anything planned," Mathis said. "I'm trying to focus on the season."