CSN talks with assistant head coach Mark Rhea and a pair of defensive linemen in preview
Special kickoff time of 8 pm in Cullowhee
2015 (Redshirt Junior): Played in all 11 of the team's games with one start at left tackle coming at Chattanooga (Oct. 31) ... Was a part of an offensive line that helped produce WCU's first 1,000-yard rusher since 2006.
2014 (Junior): Did not participate in football activities, rejoining the team for spring drills.
2013 (Sophomore): Started four of the 12 games in which he saw action, opening the season with three-straight starts at offensive left guard ... Also saw time on placekicking special teams ... Helped WCU had four, 100-yard rushing performances on the season... Credited with one assisted tackle on the season.
2012 (Freshman): Played in nine games along the offensive line and special teams making two starts at right tackle ... Made his first collegiate start against nationally-ranked Appalachian State, also starting at Alabama.
Prior to Western Carolina: Three-year letter winner and two-year starter at Millbrook High where he played both offensive and defensive line ... Earned All-CAP-8 conference accolades as a senior ... Was additionally named to the All-OT Football second team offense as selected and released on HighSchoolOT.com ... Listed as a Top 100 player at the ScoutingCarolina.com and made the All-Combine team at the Charlotte Nike SPARQ combine ... Also played basketball as a prep.
Personal: Full name is Matthew Allen James DeGraffinreed ... Is the son of Paul M. and Carmelitta M. DeGraffinreed ... Has an older sister, Hannah, who plays basketball at USC-Aiken ... He had two uncles play collegiate football - one at Miami (Ohio) and another at Ashland College, while one of his cousins played at Wittenberg College.