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November 24, 2006

Matthews' All-American honor well deserved

Casey Matthews
West Team
Westlake Village, Calif.
6-1, 220, 4.7

Matthews in action

Rivals.com Rankings
Rivals.com inside linebackers: No. 18
Rivals.com California top 100: No. 51

While there are plenty of headliners at Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian this season, the one that coach Bill Redell said he can count on the most is linebacker Casey Matthews.

"He's not missed a game in his high school career," Redell said. "He's like our rock. Everybody knows we can count on him."

Five facts about Casey Matthews
Picked Oregon over offers from Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, San Diego State, Tennessee and others.
Sports hero is Lofa Tatupu.
Admires former President Abraham Lincoln.
Favorite movie is "The Program."
Hobbies include fishing and snowboarding.
When you combine that durability with a solid frame, an amazing nose for the football, a knack for making big plays in big games, and the physical tools to be a great linebacker, it was a rather easy decision by Rivals.com to select him to play in the inaugural Offense-Defense All-American Bowl on Jan. 4 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

When you also consider Matthews comes from outstanding football bloodlines his father Clay Matthews was a standout at USC and played 19 years in the NFL - it was a slam dunk decision.

"It's a very exciting honor," Casey Matthews said. "I first heard that Rivals.com was going to invite me through (Anthony) Gildon, and I was hoping he was telling me the truth. Then I got the invitation, and it's just exciting to be qualified enough to be called an All-American. I was a little surprised since there are so many really good players all over the country, but I'm really proud to have this honor."

Matthews, an early Oregon commitment, is heading to the game with two of his teammates cornerback Anthony Gildon and safety Marshall Jones.

"That's another thing that has got me really excited about the game," Matthews said. "It's going to be really exciting to play with two of my teammates and even with a few of my future teammates, guys like Carson York. But this game also helps give publicity to Oaks Christian and shows there are a lot of good players here at the school."

Matthews is ready for the challenge of facing off against the nation's best, and he said he can't wait to show Ducks fans watching the game on ESPNU what they'll be getting in college.

"They're going to see a guy that gets after it," Matthews said. "I'm going to make the big tackle and make the big play. I'm also going to try and be a leader for the team. It's always been a dream of mine to be an All-American, and I'm going to take this game and this honor very seriously."

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