Mathes weighs his options

By Kevin Eckleberry

June 12, 2014

The finish line is getting closer for Troup High’s Mitch Mathes.

Mathes has been a starter on the offensive line for the Tigers since his freshman season, and in about two months, he’ll begin his final season of high-school football.

As for where he’ll be after that, it remains to be seen.

Mathes has been heavily recruited for a few years now, and things only figure to heat up as he heads into his senior year.

After helping Troup win the Fellowship of Christian Athletes lineman challenge on Thursday at Callaway Stadium, Mathes said he has received a number of official offers, and more are certainly on the way.

“I have 12 offers so far,” Mathes said.

Mathes returned from a recruiting trip that included visits to Elon, Furman and Duke just in time for Thursday’s event.

He’ll make other visits throughout the summer, and during the fall when he’ll be able to attend some games.

“It’s fun,” Mathes said of the recruiting process. “You get to see the whole Southeast. It’s really nice. And then in the fall, you get to watch a bunch of games.”

Mathes, who is an excellent student in addition to being an elite lineman, said he has no timetable for when he’ll make a decision.

He has plenty of time, since national signing day isn’t until February.

“Everything’s up in the air right now,” Mathes said.

When a new high-school seasons rolls around, Mathes will anchor an offensive line that will be a strength of the team.

Most of the starters from last year’s team that went 6-5 and made it to the state playoffs are back.

Mathes moved into the starting lineup when he was a freshman, and in each of his three seasons Troup has had a strong running game.

Daryl Dunlap had more than 1,000 rushing yards in 2012 and 2013, and a strong offensive line anchored by Mathes was a big reason why.

Mathes was thrown into the fire during a preseason game against Auburn as a freshman, and it was an eye-opening experience.

“I was kind of nervous at first,” Mathes said last season. “After that first snap, I was like, I’m ready for this.”

Mathes has received plenty of individual accolades, but he knows that an offensive line can only be successful if it has five players working together.

“The offensive line, you have to get everybody meshing,” Mathes said.