The Final Cockdown: #76 Mike Matulis

A year from now, Mike Matulis could be an above average starter on South Carolina's offensive line or he could be out of football altogether, and neither of those scenarios would be terribly surprising.

Mike Matulis
True Junior Offensive Tackle
6'5", 284 lbs.
Boynton Beach, FL

Recruitment:
3 stars, 49th overall offensive tackle in the 2011 class
Other offers: Florida State, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisville, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt West Virginia

College Career:
Unlike most offensive linemen that come through the South Carolina program, Mike Matulis did not redshirt during his first year on campus. Matulis was thrust into the spotlight light when senior left tackle Kyle Nunn suffered a back injury that kept him out for most of the 2011 season. The true freshman had a rough debut in South Carolina's 16-13 home loss to Auburn but became a vital cog in the offensive line as the year wore on and was named to the Sporting News' Freshman All-America Team.

Matulis started the 2012 season at right tackle after having offseason shoulder surgery but missed the vast majority of the season with an injury to the opposite shoulder, which also required surgery.

2013 Outlook:
Matulis has shown that, when healthy, he can be an above-average contributor at a variety of positions on the offensive line. But staying healthy has been a struggle, and when you're an offensive lineman trying to bounce back from surgeries on both shoulders, you're fighting an uphill battle.

When he got injured last year, offensive line coach Shawn Elliott did not come off as particularly optimistic about his his long-term prognosis, and Steve Spurrier hinted many times during fall practice at the possibility of the true junior redshirting in 2013 or leaving the team altogether so that he can avoid further damage to his shoulders.

Trivia:
One time, in a 2012 post-practice interview, Steve Spurrier called Matulis "Matoozles". I have been desperately trying to track this footage down to no avail, but I swear it happened.

Social media scouting report:
First of all, Matulis's Twitter handle is @BigHoneyMike, which is amazing. And the tone of Matulis's tweets is reminiscent of Frank Martin's uplifting, compassionate Twitter style but without the run-on sentences and txt-styl abbrvtns.

Possible Todd Ellis play-by-play call:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Mike Matulis springs Mike Davis for a 42-yard touchdown run with a vicious pancake block on Jordan Jenkins. And I'll tell you what, folks. The big junior hit Jenkins so hard that he might have jarred something loose in his Matulis oblongata.

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