Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Matt Dickerson springs ahead
By Erik McKinney
Heading into spring ball, defensive tackle Matt Dickerson (San Mateo, Calif./Junipero Serra) was looking for his first offer. Heading into his summer vacation, he's one of the West region's hottest prospects.
It happened quickly for the 6-foot-5, 250-pound lineman. He hadn't heard from many schools during a junior season in which he posted 42 tackles and 1.5 sacks, but everything changed once the calendar flipped to March.
Nevada was the first school to offer a scholarship.
"When I first got Nevada, I was honestly crying for an hour," Dickerson said. "I thought about how blessed I was in getting a Division I offer and it took a while for it to settle in."
Thankfully it settled in rather quickly, because it was only the beginning. Washington followed suit with the first BCS offer for Dickerson, then the floodgates opened.
"I realized it was getting pretty crazy," Dickerson said. "I got three offers in one week and then probably two a week. I was talking to new coaches all the time."
Dickerson now holds 15 offers, and the pace doesn't seem to be slowing. Oregon offered last week and USC joined the mix on Tuesday. Those two offers are in addition to Pac-12 offers from Arizona, California, Colorado, UCLA, Utah and Washington State. Arkansas and Nebraska have offered as well.
"In the beginning, over the first few weeks, it was pretty hard getting used to it," Dickerson said of the attention and time commitment the recruiting process demanded. "My main goal is trying to stay humble. I know a lot of people want to be in my shoes, with dreams of playing Division I football."
Dickerson plans to sit down with his family and discuss what summer visits he might take, though nothing has been set at this point. He said he could be in attendance for USC's camp this summer, is close to scheduling a trip to Washington and hopes to get his parents with him up to Oregon.
"I was really excited when Oregon offered," he said. "That's a big Pac-12 school. I've always wanted to have an Oregon offer, but I'm going to take my time. I'll try to get my parents up there and see what it's all about. It's a big-time program and it's pretty interesting to me."
It will likely be a few more weeks before schools begin to separate themselves in Dickerson's mind. He said he is treating all schools as equals at this time, but will sit down with his parents in the middle of this summer and begin finalizing a top group.
The only thing that's certain is that this isn't how Dickerson expected to be spending his summer a few months ago.
"Actually, this has affected everybody," he said. "My parents, friends, myself, coaches -- this doesn't happen every year. I never expected this and it was nothing I could prepare for."
Like his final list of schools, what position Dickerson will play moving forward is up in the air.
"They like me at defensive tackle and defensive end," he said. "There isn't one particular position with any school. They want me at multiple positions on the defensive line and to play kind of a mixture of both."
Academics will play a major role for Dickerson, who said he has thought about studying business at the next level. As for what schools could come in and offer in the near future, Dickerson didn't have an answer. He said he's been caught off guard by a number of the offers he's received, as there was no warning or signs from coaches that they were coming. Likely the only thing guaranteed at this point for the big defensive linemen is that his momentum isn't close to winding down.