"I decided Penn State was right for me because I believe I can represent what Penn State stands for very well — discipline, hard work, modesty and, of course, top notch football players," Mateas told FightOnState.com.
Mateas may define "under the radar" and his home north of the border might have something to do with it. Having taken visits to Connecticut in addition to a trip to North Carolina, Mateas jumped at the opportunity to become a Nittany Lion. The prestige and tradition of Penn State football excites the powerful lineman.
"I know that it has one of the most famous coaches to ever live," Mateas said about the program. "And it is famous for much more than just winning games – [Penn State has] the most loyal fan base in college football and also Penn State breeds football players."
Mateas can attribute his athleticism and footwork to years spent playing basketball and soccer. Last year, he played in the Canadian Junior Football League for players between the ages of 18-22. His team went to the national semifinals with Mateas as the left tackle. He received an all-star award in his team's conference, the only player under the age of 20 to grab such an honor.
Most impressively, he had to work hard through the season to catch the attention of the bigger schools. Still relatively new to the sport, it was that extra effort that caused him to get noticed by Penn State.
"So I have been playing football for three years, which is why I had to wait so long (to pick a college program), because I had to work hard so I could make a highlight film that Penn State would look at," Mateas said.
Kristian R. Dyer can be reached for questions, comments and crude remarks at KristianRDyer@yahoo.com and followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012