Although strange, I do think that Joe wants to play football somewhere other than California. The impression I got is that he fits in more with the Midwest players. I would not be shocked if he ends up committing somewhere in the west coast, but if we were to lure Mathis to Michigan, it would be a huge get. Rivals ranks Mathis the 9th defensive end in his class and the 98th best player in the nation. Scout ranks him the 8th defensive end, and 247 ranks him 11th. He was also ranked 120th on ESPN's top 150 players in the nation.
I also think it's very important for the coaching staff to have a presence in California, which they already do to an extent. Mathis would only extend that presence.
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Me: How was your Nebraska visit?
Joe: It was nice, you know, I talked to the head coach and all the coaches and players. I got to spend a lot of time with them. It was really nice.
Me: What was the biggest difference between Nebraska and Michigan?
Joe: Michigan, I only got to spend a little time with the coaches, but at Nebraska, I spent a lot of time with the coaches.
Me: Do you think it’s realistic for you to come play football all the way out in the Midwest?
Joe: Yeah, I really want to leave California. I wanna play in the Big Ten.
Me: So is it true that Nebraska is your new #1?
Joe: [Laughing] Yeah, it’s true. It felt like home, you know. Michigan was cool, I got a lot of love from the fans and stuff, but the coaches -- I needed to spend more time with them. Three hours that Friday night weren’t enough.
Me: Are you still a planning an official out to Michigan?
Joe: Yeah, definitely.
Me: What is the biggest difference between California and the Midwest, in terms of football?
Joe: In California, the fans aren’t really into it and there’s not so much tradition because we have so many teams. But in the Midwest, teams have so much tradition. In the Midwest, they think football is like god over there [laughing].
Me: What is the one thing you’re most looking for in your future school?
Joe: Just coaches that can make me even better, get me to the next level, and coach me up until I get to that next level. I like lifting weights so I’m looking for a good weight program, and you know, and a good business program too.
Me: Do you have a top-5?
Joe: No, it’s Michigan and Nebraksa and that’s it.
Me: When do you plan on deciding?
Joe: Umm, I wanna decide at one of the All-American games, but not during the season because the recruiting might get too hectic. I’m not sure yet, but time will tell.
Me: So a lot of people are saying you’re a USC lock. What do you think of that?
Joe: WHAT?! Just because I’m a Cali boy, that don’t mean anything. I’m open to anyone, whatever school is going at me the hardest is gonna get me. Whatever school is gonna need me and want me the most is gonna get me. SC already has a couple [defensive] commits. I like USC but they already got some [defensive] commits.
Me: Are you still enjoying the recruiting process or are you kind of over it?
Joe: It’s not really enjoying it as much as I’m trying to deal with it. When I was a freshman, I started hearing about recruiting and I wanted it so bad. I had to come back to reality because I was only a freshman. When I got my first offer (Indiana), I jumped off the roof. I was going crazy. I thought that was very cool. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the coaches and I feel bad if I don’t call the coaches back at times. I get like 30 calls a day from writers and reporters, it’s crazy.
It's definitely way too early for someone like Joe, but I do believe he's very open to playing in Big Ten country. Time will tell...