VT, UVa Serious About Matthews

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Following two very productive seasons – including a 96-tackle, 4-sack sophomore season and an 82-tackle, 5-fumble recovery and 5-sack junior season – Tolbert Matthews is one of the top linebackers in the 2007 class in the state of Virginia. And he is drawing heavy interest from both 1A state programs as well as a handful of out-of-state schools.

“Tolbert is maybe about 6-2, maybe about 225 pounds,” Norview head coach Robert Toran said. “He plays linebacker for me. He’s played inside and outside, but maybe is more of an outside linebacker for me because he likes to play in space and chase the quarterback. He plays both ways for us, as he also plays tight end. He’s a two-year starter for me – this is my second year at Norview. He’s been all-district at tight end and at linebacker and second-team all-Tidewater at linebacker this year. He is one of the top linebackers returning in the Tidewater region and in the state.”

While his overall tackle number dipped from the previous year, Matthews’ continued to stake his place as one of the most important parts of Norview’s team in 2005.

“In his sophomore year, he had the personnel around him to help him excel,” Toran said. “Last year, he was pushed into more of a leadership role as a junior. So it was a little bit different and people knew who he was and were giving him a little more attention, but with the season we had I felt like he was able to still standout. He still led the team in tackles and tackles-for-losses.”

In addition to his talents at the linebacker position, Matthews also plays special teams very well.

“He’s doing a lot of intangible things we’re looking for,” Toran said. “And another thing he’s real good at is blocking kicks. He really gets after it. He blocked about four punts last season.”

Matthews is receiving letters from a number of Division 1A programs, but Georgia Tech, Virginia and Virginia Tech are currently showing the most interest according to Toran.

“He’s getting letters from Virginia, Virginia Tech, James Madison, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Indiana, Kansas State, Clemson,” Toran said. “There are no written offers, but he’s gotten heavy interest especially from the in-state schools Virginia and Virginia Tech. He also tells