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October 27, 2010ARMY AA BOWL: Army All-American selection tour | U.S. Army AA announcement tour gallery
Ryker Mathews is excited about the practices and especially the game but something else the American Fork, Utah, offensive tackle is looking forward to during the Army All-American Bowl week are the stories he's going to hear from everyone in San Antonio.
"It will be awesome just hearing some of the different stories the Army people will tell us and it will be a great experience," Mathews said. "It will be a humbling experience for sure."
Mathews, a 6-foot-6, 277-pound four-star prospect, received his Army game jersey during a presentation Wednesday at his high school and the BYU commit said he couldn't be more excited.
Going up against some of the nation's top high school players will be exciting and Mathews said it's also a huge honor just to be invited to compete. The remainder of his high school season is ahead and then Mathews will travel to San Antonio to play many of the other top prospects from all over.
Mathews, who committed to the Cougars in mid-August over offers from Kansas, Utah and Utah State, said he doesn't follow the recruiting rankings much but he knows many top players will be competing with and against him during the Army week. He can't wait to start.
"I'm so excited," Mathews said. "It's so fun playing with the best players in the nation. I just can't explain how excited I am.
"I don't really follow (recruiting) a lot. I know these are the best players in the nation, who I'm playing with and who I'm playing against. I don't necessarily go and see every player and see what they're ranked. I don't even check myself out."
Rivals.com rates Mathews No. 12 at offensive tackle, No. 105 nationally and first in the Utah state rankings. Second on the Utah list is four-star athlete Harvey Langi, who was presented with his Army jersey on Tuesday.
Mathews has proven to be a stud offensive tackle.
He was absolutely dominant especially during one-on-one drills at the Provo NIKE Camp in mid-June when he won the offensive line MVP award. His showings at other events have reinforced his ranking as Utah's top player.
The Army game will be his next challenge. He'll have his opportunity to compete against all the best players because he'll practice against his West teammates all week and then will challenge the East's top players on game day.
It will be a prelude to college football, a taste of what life will be like on the next level. Mathews is excited for his opportunity.
"It's challenging," Mathews said. "It's going to be a whole new experience because I'm playing better people. It will be a great experience because it will get me ready for college.
"I realize that's how college is going to be, traveling there, staying in the hotel, practicing a few times and then playing and then traveling back home. It will be exciting."