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June 15, 2006

Four-star Matthews getting closer to decision

Cheraw (S.C.) defensive end Cliff Matthews took time out of a busy summer schedule to spend several hours the University of South Carolina earlier this week.

"I took an unofficial visit to USC," the 6-foot-5, 230-pound Matthews said. "It was a good visit because I got to see a lot of things I hadn't seen before on other trips."

Matthews, who also plays tight end at the high school level, offered a synopsis of the day.

"First we went out to their camp they had going on, and we watched that for a while. Then they showed me the dorms where the players live, which were pretty nice. Then I got to meet with coach (Dave) Odom, and he told me he'd give me a chance to play basketball, too. Then we went across the street to the Strom Thurmond Center. That place is nice."

Matthews, who racked up 66 tackles, seven sacks, four fumble recoveries and two interceptions on defense, and grabbed 17 balls for 210 yards and four touchdowns on offense, then headed to the football offices to meet with Steve Spurrier and Brad Lawing.

"Coach Spurrier was telling me he wants me to come back this summer so he can show me ever more stuff they have planned. I was on a tight schedule because I had a basketball scrimage, so we didn't get to everything we wanted to. Then coach Lawing took me in his office to talk for a while. He told me where he got his coaching knowledge and where he was before he came to USC. I've gotten real comfortable with him, and he would be my position coach."

Matthews has now moved his decision timeframe up.

"I'm going to do it in early August. I'm going to Georgia's camp on July 7th and 8th, and then I'm going to go back to USC after that. Then I'll commit in August. My top three is still the same order. It's USC, Georgia and then Clemson."

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