Two-star defensive end Matt Conrath (6-7.5, 245, 5.3) helped lead his high school team, St. Rita in Chicago (Ill.), to a 7A state championship. They defeated Lake Zurich 35-21 in the final round. Conrath finished his senior season with 118 tackles and 14 sacks.
Conrath committed to Virginia on Jan. 2. "I was talking everything over with my parents that day and it just came to me," Conrath said. "It just hit me that Virginia is where I wanted to go, so I called them up and told them.
"I talked with head coach Al Groh and my recruiting coach Steve Bernstein (defensive back coach). They were both really excited. They said they were happy I chose them and that I'd fit in perfectly. They want me for defensive end and they said they love my size. They play a 3-4 defense, and they said that I fit their mold perfectly."
Conrath chose the Cavs over Stanford and Miami (Oh). "It was hard to pick against those two," Conrath said. "Stanford has amazing academics and California is a really nice place. Also, I really got along well with the coaches at Miami (Oh). It wasn't an easy decision, but now I'm completely 100 percent committed."
He visited the Cardinal on Dec. 8 and the Red Hawks on Dec. 5. His first official visit was on Dec. 1 to Virginia. "I felt like it was the best place for me," Conrath said. "I didn't feel like waiting any longer. I love the coaches there and I felt comfortable around all the players. My visit was really impressive and really stuck with me."
He reports a 4.3 core GPA and a 29 ACT.