QB Matt Engle

Matt Engle

Last year's high profile legacy recruit was David Lofton from Texas, and this 2003 class presents another intriguing quarterback in Matt Engle. Matt presents none of the size his father displayed on the offensive line at the Farm, but he's put up some gaudy numbers at El Segundo that make you sit up and pay attention.

QB/K Matt Engle (profile)
El Segundo (El Segundo, CA)
Ht: 5-11  WT: 189
5.00 forty; 4.69 shuttle
no bench, no vertical

If the name "Engle" rings a bell with Cardinalmaniacs™, that's because Matt Engle is the son of former Stanford offensive tackle Gene Engle (1977-78).  Papa Engle came to Stanford by way of El Camino JC and proceeded to start all 24 games in his two-year career on the Farm at right tackle, earning 2nd team All-Pac-10 honors in '78.  Like his dad, Matt is a very technically skilled player at his position.  Matt is known as a very advanced QB who makes quick reads and displays an extraordinary on-field IQ.  But one area he hasn't taken after his dad is the size category, with Matt falling 5 or 6 inches short of his father's oversized frame.  Therein lies the big mark against Matt, and the question college coaches are wrestling with as they evaluate El Segundo's prolific signal caller.

The stats that Matt has put up, though, bespeak a strong case for him to go under center at the collegiate level.  Though under 6-feet, the younger Engle threw for 2,171 yards and 19 touchdowns at a 57% clip... his sophomore season.  This past year, the junior put up an eye-popping 2,837 yards and 30 touchdowns at a 62% clip.  And if that doesn't catch your attention, how about his 10-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio?  Yowsers.  He also is a noted scrambler, rushing for 4 scores his junior year.  His standout game of the year came against league rival Torrance, where Matt threw for 453 yards and three touchdowns, rushed for 44 yards and kicked three field goals.  For his strong junior season, Engle was named second team all-underclass by CalHi Sports as a multi-purpose player.  Others in that same category on the second team include Emeka Nnoli, JC Lewis and Sam Cheatham.

With more than 5,000 passing yards and just shy of 50 TDs heading into his junior year, Matt Engle is writing himself in the books as one of the most prolific quarterbacks in California history.  Consider some of the seniors he out-threw this past season: Ben Olson, Matt Moore and Trent Edwards; as well as the juniors he eclipsed: JC Lewis, Sam Keller, Richard Kovalcheck and Kyle Wright.  Oh, and Matt Engle can kick pretty well, too.

I watched Matt throw at the recent LA Nike Camp and caught up with him during the day for this interview...

The Bootleg:  Matt, is there anything in particular with your throwing motion or technique that you are hoping to work on out here? 
Matt Engle:  Yeah, maybe.  But the main reason to come out here is just to have fun.  If they see something that I need to change, I'll be open to it.  But basically I'm here to get back in the swing of things.

The Bootleg:  Do you mind talking about your junior year?  How did you guys do and what were some of your stats and accomplishments?
Matt Engle:  I had almost 3000 yards, 30 touchdowns, 3 interceptions...

The Bootleg:  Just three interceptions?
Matt Engle:  Yeah.  I had a great offensive line and a great bunch of receivers, so that made my job easy.

The Bootleg:  Do you mind talking about where you want to improve your game?  What is it that coaches tell you that you need to improve?
Matt Engle:  (pause) Maybe just a little footwork.  I'm just proving that though I'm shorter than the average quarterback, I can still play.  That's what I'm trying to prove.

The Bootleg:  How do you respond to that?  What part of your game allows you to compensate for the height disadvantage you have versus other quarterbacks?
Matt Engle:  I try to use speed and elusiveness to get outside of the pocket sometimes.  And decision making - you know, being able to throw right away.  That way there shouldn't be any need for the height.  If you can read the defense well enough, that's all that matters.

The Bootleg:  Are you hoping to play quarterback in college, or would you consider playing another position?
Matt Engle:  Oh, no.  Quarterback.  Quarterback or kicker.

The Bootleg:  Do you place kick or punt?
Matt Engle:  I place kick.  I was 9 of 10 on field goals and 27 of 29 on PATs.

The Bootleg:  What was your long field goal that you've kicked in a game?
Matt Engle:  Like 45 yards.  Something like that.

The Bootleg:  What schools are you hearing from?  Starting to get some mail?
Matt Engle:  Yeah, a lot of mail.  SC, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, and also Ivy League schools.  I wouldn't mind going out there for an education.  So Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Yale.

The Bootleg:  With those kinds of schools, you must have some solid grades, Matt.  Would you mind sharing that?
Matt Engle:  I have a 4.0 with honors classes.

The Bootleg:  Have you taken the SAT yet, or the PSAT?
Matt Engle:  Not yet on the SAT.  I didn't do so well as I hoped on the PSAT.  It was my birthday on the day I took it, and I had a game the night before.  So yeah, I didn't do as well as I had hoped, but I'll do better on the SATs.

The Bootleg:  When are you planning on taking the SAT?
Matt Engle:  In May.

The Bootleg:  When you talk to Harvard, Dartmouth or even Stanford out here on the West Coast, what do they tell you they would like you to score on the SAT for admission?
Matt Engle:  1200.  Harvard said 1200.  They said if I get a 1200, I have to get in there.  I know I can do that.  If I study hard, I can get that.

The Bootleg:  Now your dad also played in college, right?
Matt Engle:  Yeah, my dad played for Stanford.

The Bootleg:  What has he told you about Stanford, and how has he advised you on this recruiting process?
Matt Engle:  He just told me to go somewhere I can play.  He's just trying to help me out and tell me about the Stanford program. Stuff like that.

The Bootleg:  What has he told you about his experiences at Stanford, and does he still get over there these days?
Matt Engle:  Once in a while.  We have some family up there, so we go up there once in a while.  He tells me about some of the fun, like his songs he listened to before games, what they would do before games, about certain practices, double-days, where he lived - stuff like that.

The Bootleg:  If you had your pick of places right now, where would you like to go?
Matt Engle:  Stanford. (

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