USC Gamecocks Football

Matulis on the mend, will stick with football

Mike Matulis (76) and Cody Gibson (78) goof off at last year's media day event.
Mike Matulis (76) and Cody Gibson (78) goof off at last year's media day event. Special to GoGamecocks

Junior offensive tackle Mike Matulis was in good health and even better spirits at Friday’s Pigskin Poets reading event at Richland County Public Library.

Matulis is recovering from a November shoulder surgery, his second in as many years. He admitted that he considered giving up football, as Steve Steve Spurrier told the media in March.

“Not anymore,” Matulis said. “I’m definitely going to stay back and play. This is something I’ve been praying about.”

Matulis was a first-team freshman All-American in 2011 after starting five games. He had shoulder surgery following the season and then returned to start another five games in 2012 before surgery on the other shoulder ended his season early.

Both shoulders are feeling better, he said, though he’s not sure if he’ll be cleared to fully participate when practice starts in August.

“I’m getting stronger,” he said. “I just have to get my weight back up and my strength back up.”

Matulis is lighter than he wants to be – at 280 pounds – and showed up Friday sporting a new hairdo of dreadlocks, which is part of a spiritual experience, he said.

“I made a promise with God,” he said. “It’s going good. I’ve been a lot better, feeling better, my mood has been lifted. It’s been a good experience.”

More injury updates

... Junior offensive tackle Cody Gibson said he is fully recovered from a meniscus tear in his knee. He started four games as a redshirt freshman in 2011 and two last year.

... Sophomore safety T.J. Gurley still goes to rehabilitation twice a week for the knee injury that ended his freshman season early and expects to be ready for preseason practice, he said. Gurley played in eight games in 2012, recording 13 tackles while working in the secondary and on special teams.