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Shapiro’s confidence surges after impressive junior year

Matt Shapiro warms up for a game against Cal. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Matt Shapiro warms up for a game against Cal. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

San Ramon Valley junior offensive lineman Matt Shapiro became one of the region’s top commodities up front over the past few months.

Shapiro was a behemoth during the club football scene leading up to his junior year for SRV. As part of Cal Strength’s squad in the Winner Circle Athletics Champions League, which compiled a 5-1 record, Shapiro paved the way for protection for the two quarterbacks and big holes in the run game.

He faced some of the top defensive linemen and not only held his own, but proved his worth in those six games, gaining confidence when he faced four-star Santa Margarita senior Derek Wilkins, a Cal signee who was on OC Elite. 

“I thought I played really good against him,” Shapiro said. “I didn’t give up any sacks that game. I thought I did really well, and that gave me a lot of confidence because I knew I could really hang with these guys and I know I could play college ball.”

But football was not always around Shapiro’s life.

For years, Shapiro was a basketball player – much like fellow SRV junior lineman Jackson Brown, who is a Power Five prospect. It wasn’t until his freshman year of high school when tackle football became a fixture in his life, and that’s when he fell in love with the team camaraderie of the sport.

“I just love that feeling, so I just kept wanting to play,” Shapiro said. “I cared so much more about it and I just focused on getting better, and now my future could definitely be college football. I love that.”

During this six-game spring season, Shapiro garnered himself impressive film – an ode to the work ethic instilled in him from a young age with his family and also all of the talented teammates he’s been around, whether that was in basketball or now in football.

There’s Brown along the offensive line. San Diego signee Kyle Ecker. Right there, that’s two offensive linemen with Division I offers. 

And Shapiro was a staple of the offensive line this season, helping SRV average 135.2 yards per contest and helping junior quarterback Jack Quigley get enough time in the pocket.

“I think I care a lot,” Shapiro said. “I really want to persevere and get better every single day, and I think I have pretty good work ethic, which makes me a better player. I think that just helps me be a better player and just makes me better.”

Shapiro is hearing from a number of Ivy League schools and said he is eager to gain more traction over the offseason.

“I’m really interested in those,” Shapiro said. “But I haven’t gotten as many looks as some other guys. Hopefully after this season I can talk to some more coaches, but I have been talking to a couple IVY Leagues. I’ve definitely got to hit up a lot of camps this summer to get my name out there a little bit more.”

Those talks with Ivy League programs also highlight another aspect of Shapiro’s repertoire: grades.

Currently, Shapiro said he boasts a 3.7 GPA.

“I’ve always had the mentality like if I do good in school, I feel like I’ll do pretty good in life,” Shapiro said. “I just want to be smart, and I feel like especially being an offensive lineman you need to be smart to pick up blitzes and pick up everything. You’ve got to be aware, and I think being smart in the classroom has definitely helped me on the offensive line. I really care about that.”

1 Comment

  1. Scott Garibaldi on April 27, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    Way to go Kid.
    Keep on keepin on!!!!!

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