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Justin David Kish: Hello Matt thank you so much for taking the time to do the interview how are things going for you?
Matthew Tralli: No problem, things are going great.
Justin David Kish: Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself for the fans who don’t know much about you?
Matthew Tralli: I am Matt Tralli, just finished my Senior year at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. I played football there for the past 4 years and had a great time. I am the current program’s all-time leader in career receptions with 202. I have hopes to play in the NFL or CFL next year.
Justin David Kish: Growing up what was Youth Football like for you?
Matthew Tralli: Youth football was great for me. I played both flag football and tackle at a young age. My town did not have tackle football so I had to go to the town over in Cortlandt Manor to play. I loved playing tackle football a lot more than flag football and that’s probably where I developed the love for it.
Justin David Kish: What was some of your favorite NFL players growing up and why?
Matthew Tralli: I would have to say Reggie Bush and Michael Vick because of what they could do as athletes with the ball. It was incredible to watch them growing up.
Justin David Kish: Who do you sight as your inspiration to play football?
Matthew Tralli: Probably just playing street football in my neighborhood really got me into the sport. It was so fun and exciting that i just became hooked.
Justin David Kish: You played High School football with Croton-Harmon tell us about your experience with the team?
Matthew Tralli: High School Football was awesome. My freshman year we weren’t the greatest, we ended up 2-7 in a terrible year. But we dedicated ourselves in the off-season to do better and we actually won our section, then won the region and ended up losing in the state championship but it was the first time ever that our school even made it that far. During that run we beat a school named Dobbs Ferry, who hadn’t lost a game in our section in 7 years. That was the greatest game I ever played in.
Justin David Kish: Your Senior season at Croton-Harmon you won the team MVP award. What was your Senior year like and how excited were you to win the team MVP award?
Matthew Tralli: My Senior year was almost perfect. The summer leading up to it though was difficult for me because i broke my jaw in a 7on7. I was able to make it back before the start of the season but didn’t know what to expect. I had a great season rushing for over a thousand yards and scoring 17 touchdowns. We ended up losing in the state semifinals but it was a great year finishing 10-1. Being the team MVP was humbling. I always let my play do the talking and led by example.
Justin David Kish: What is on of your all-time favorite High School Football moment?
Matthew Tralli: Beating Dobbs Ferry in the Sectional Semifinals. We ended their 69 game winning streak not to mention on their home field. We won 22-21. My brother scored the go touchdown to make it 21-20 and then i caught the two point conversion to put us up 22-21 as well as the game sealing interception to win the game. Unbelievable feeling.
Justin David Kish: Lets jump right into your College Football Recruitment phase. Now you were recruited and you committed to Marist College. What teams were interested in you during your recruitment and what made you sign your LOI with Marist?
Matthew Tralli: Other teams that were recruiting me included Monmouth, Hobart, and Temple. I signed with Marist because I felt like it was home. My high school quarterback and very good friend Nick Mainiero also went there which made my decision easier. I signed my LOI along with my brother Joe who was at a JUCO Hudson Valley Community College and they happened to like both of us and we signed.
Justin David Kish: What was the transition like from playing High School Football to College Football?
Matthew Tralli: It was very hard. I played running back in high school and I came into Marist and they wanted me to play Wide Receiver. I barely ran routes in high school but I was an athlete and wouldn’t turn it down. So that was very tough to adjust to.
Justin David Kish: Was it hard for you in the early goings to adapt to the offense that is ran at Marist College?
Matthew Tralli: The offense was tough to get considering I came from a option based offense in high school. Also learning the wide receiver position didn’t make it easier. I didn’t play at all my freshman year. And I felt terrible. I had no confidence anymore and it landed me 2nd to last on the depth chart. But what really turned it around was when I was given that depth chart and saw the position I was at I didn’t like it at all and I needed to do anything I could to change it. I worked extremely hard that off season and came back to fall camp and made my way up to 3 on the depth chart.
Justin David Kish: Who are some players that really helped you get situated into the College lifestyle and a College Football player?
Matthew Tralli: I would say the people that really helped me were Nick Mainiero my hometown friend, Michael Rios one of the top wide receivers at Marist helped me become a wide receiver.
Justin David Kish: Tell us about your playing career with Marist College?
Matthew Tralli: After I moved my way up on the depth going into my red-shirt freshman year I was able to get on the field in the first game that season. I had a break out game catching 4 passes for 96 yards in my first collegiate game. I finished that season with 330 yards and 4 touchdowns on 33 catches. Every year after that I progressed in receptions and yards. My red-shirt sophomore year I had 50 catches for 550 yards and 4 touchdowns. My redshirt junior year I had 69 catches for 630 yards. Then finally my senior year I had 56 catches for 750 yards. Ending with the most catches in school history (202) and the second most in yards (2,200).
Justin David Kish: Marist College plays against some pretty excited FCS-level teams like Butler, Dayton and Jacksonville. Which team really was fun playing against and tell us about the game experiences?
Matthew Tralli: I would say either Jacksonville or San Diego because of the close games we had with them. The past 4 years between the two teams the games were decided by less than a touchdown and thrillers to add. The crowds were the best and the game was even better.
Justin David Kish: Your College Football career is now at a end and you are now preparing for the 2016 NFL Draft. What makes you standout from other wide outs entering the 2016 Draft?
Matthew Tralli: I think what makes me stand out is my relentless mentality and knack for the ball. I am very quick in a small area which can create mismatches in the slot position.
Justin David Kish: If you had to match your skill set up to any current NFL wide receiver who would you compare yourself to and why?
Matthew Tralli: I would compare myself to Julian Edelman or Danny Amendola. They arent the biggest receivers but they are quick and run great routes in the mismatches that are presented to them.
Justin David Kish: How are you currently preparing yourself for the 2016 NFL Draft?
Matthew Tralli: I am currently training down in Florida at Bommaritos with numerous top prospects for the upcoming draft. I am also working with Wes Welker who currently is working out at the same facility as well as working with the athletes here.
Justin David Kish: Is there any advice you can give to High School Football players wanting to play College Football?
Matthew Tralli: I would say learn about the game as much as you can mentally because you will get to where you want to be physically by working out and just maturing as a young man. You have to get the knowledge part down first so you will be prepared for what is to come at the next level.
Justin David Kish: Thank you for your time and good luck during the draft process Matt!
Matthew Tralli: Thank you I really appreciate it.