Mike Matulis is a key player for South Carolina's football team, but it's his tattoos that we're interested in!!
Mike Matulis is a college football star, he's the offensive lineman for South Carolina but has missed two-and-half years of action through serious injuries requiring surgery on his shoulder and knee. As reminders of the difficulty he's overcome Matulis now carries the scars of his injuries, but he also wears his story in ink! Yep, Mike Matulis has some awesome tattoos with great meaning!
At 6-foot-5 and weighing around 300lbs Matulis' size makes him an incredible athlete, but the ink that covers his large frame is perhaps a little more impressive. All inspired by significant events, people and times in his life, the art work adorned on Matulis' body tells the story of his life and the journey he has taken.
“Everything on me has some meaning to me. That way when I grow up, there’s always going to be something there that meant something to me...Even if as I get older I don’t like it, at some point in time it really meant something to me, enough to put it onto my body.”
Matulis says that he only has 6 tattoos, counting larger collective pieces as just one tattoo. For instance his left arm is a tribute to his family that stretches from his wrist to shoulder, and for Matulis this is only one tattoo. Although he admits 6 is the lowest calculation of his ink he can do, such a calculation is more for his mothers benefit who isn't the biggest fan of her sons tattoos, so saying he only has 6 makes her more accepting!
“I would get one and then I’d build off it"
In his time at South Carolina Matulis earned a degree in Criminal Justice and even used some of his time in class to influence his tattoos. One of his favorite professors was Dr. Nicholas Cooper-Lewter who's “Overcoming the Odds in Sports and Beyond.” social course was one that greatly helped Matulis. Taking the course while recovering from his second shoulder surgery Matulis said it was the most influential of his life and gave him the encouragement to continue.
A key teaching point of Cooper-Lewter is “See Divinity in All of Humanity”. Inspired greatly by the words Matulis now has them tattooed on his left forearm, next to a tribute to his dog Kahlua.
“She has been a big help in my life. She’s one of my best friends. I don’t see her as just an animal. I see a soul in there.”
Other quotes tattooed on his body come from the likes of the Bible, Martin Luther King Jr., Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.
After spending around 50 hours under the tattoo needle Matulis doesn't want to workout how much his ink has cost, instead he rather just keep getting tattooed. His latest piece was inspired by the movie Guardians of the Galaxy and features the character Groot (a a sentient tree-like creature) giving a flower to a small child.
Much of the tattoo work on Matulis' body is influenced and themed around love, spirituality and religion. Such themes are also a theme of his life and are principles by which he tries to live.
After missing most of the 2012 season and all of the 2013 and 2014 seasons Matulis has come back strong from his injury and hopes to push for a place on a NFL roster when his college football time comes to end. Until then however he can keep working on his growing tattoo collection and expressing himself through his ink!!