Every Guelph recruiting class in recent years has included a large contingent of recruits from the Niagara region. One of the nine Niagara recruits in this year’s class is Ryan Mattei of St Catharines Sir Winston Churchill. Mattei is a 6’4″ 195-pound athlete who played both ways for the Bulldogs. He clearly knows how to use his size to his advantage as a receiver. At Churchill, Mattei’s head coach is former Gryphon player and 1997 Wildman Trophy winner Peter Partridge. Partridge describes Mattei as a “very good route runner with soft hands … who is quicker than he looks for someone so tall and lanky“.
Mattei was versatile enough to be the team’s long snapper, a job he did very well. Mattei was also a two-time captain for the Bulldogs and won a Bulldog Award as a player who always displayed 100% effort and the attitudes and values of a team leader. No surprise, the tall Mattei also played basketball for the Bulldogs.
Most of Mattei’s video highlights are plays as a receiver but in his defensive highlights he displays the same soft hands and use of his tall frame to make several INTs. And he uses his “faster than he looks” speed to run down smaller receivers and scrambling QBs. Guelph coaches like his potential as a defensive back. He has great mobility for a 6’4″ athlete and could probably add 10-15 pounds to his frame making him an imposing safety. As with many of Guelph’s Niagara prosects Mattei has played OVFL ball with the Niagara Spears. Mattei was a receiver on the Varsity Spears in 2011. Guelph coaches have encouraged him to play with the Spears again this summer and are hopeful he will see action as a defensive back.