ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Even when Greg Mattison left college for a chance to coach in the pros with an old friend, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, he always seemed like the perfect fit for college.
As he spent three years with one of the best defenses in the NFL, those who knew him always deemed him a strong fit for the college game, where he could mold young players into potential future pros.
Part of that had to do with finding players to begin with.
Since Mattison returned to college from the NFL for his second stint at Michigan, he has been armed with a familiar sales pitch to the defensive players he recruits. See Ed Reed? See Ray Lewis? I coached them. I can coach you, too.
"I want to play professionally," Michigan commit Taco Charlton told WolverineNation in a recent interview. "That's why I chose Michigan, because I thought it'd give me the best chance to get me to the NFL, especially with Greg Mattison."
Yes, it's been two years since Mattison left the now-Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens -- but his message still sticks. He coached one of the best defenses in the NFL and his approach, his style has never changed.
If recruiting is the "lifeblood" of any football program, then Michigan has a master in the art of it.
Wherever he has gone, Mattison has been known as a dynamic recruiter, someone who actually derives joy from the seemingly endless visits with prospects, their parents and their high school coaches.
The same aggressive, relentless nature he takes to coaching his players and calling defenses designed to fluster quarterbacks and offensive linemen carries over to finding new players.
"It's invaluable to have a Greg Mattison on your staff for what he does as far as staff camaraderie and staff spirit. Those same attributes are why he's such a great recruiter," former Notre Dame and current New Mexico coach Bob Davie told WolverineNation in 2011. "When he is in that house, the family is going to like him automatically.
"Then he's a relentless worker. He works as hard as anyone I've been around. Has great energy."
That energy came with him to Michigan, where the Wolverines have put together back-to-back top-10 classes based on the recruiting strength of Mattison, Michigan recruiting coordinator Jeff Hecklinski and their boss, Michigan coach Brady Hoke.
As long as Mattison stays at Michigan, don't expect that to change.