The recruitment of LSU target Jacoby Mathews continues to heat up as National Signing Day inches closer on Feb. 2. Mathews, who is ranked the No. 5 safety in the Sports Illustrated All-American 2022 class, is fresh off an official visit with head coach Billy Napier’s Florida Gators this previous weekend.
A high-priority recruit for the Tigers since last year, even being committed to LSU for a short time, Mathews elected to wait until Feb. 2nd to make his announcement with so many coaching changes being made. Many thought Mathews would wind up at Texas A&M to join their elite recruiting class, but the late push from Florida and consistent attention from LSU has made his decision a bit more difficult.
Mathews spoke with AllGators Brandon Carroll and Zach Goodall to discuss his recent visit to Gainesville as National Signing Day approaches.
"It definitely boosted [their chances]," Mathews said about his time in Gainesville Friday through Sunday. "I feel comfortable if I was to sign the paper to Florida."
With former LSU cornerbacks coach Corey Raymond joining Napier’s staff at Florida this last month, the relationship between him and Mathews proved to be strong as the Gators have come into his recruitment scorching hot the last few weeks.
Coach Raymond and this Florida staff have already landed IMG product and Florida native Kamari Wilson, one of the nation’s top safeties in the 2022 class. Mathews sees this as no problem if he were to end up at Florida, feeling the two could complement each other well.
"One thing we both can do is play in the box, cover up top and guard man-to-man, so I feel like that'd hurt a lot of teams because they wouldn't know how to scheme around the defense, Mathews said. “It'd be hard to attack certain DBs because everybody is versatile. So, I mean, I feel like that scheme, when me and Kamari are there like that, that looks really good."
Despite Florida making a late push for the highly touted safety, head coach Brian Kelly and LSU have remained consistent with Mathews, keeping him one of the Tigers most sought after prospects remaining on the board.
With the Tigers secondary revamped after so much change due to the transfer portal, adding Mathews to the list of talented defensive backs boosts their chances significantly. Mathews elite ball-hawking skills and versatility on the field would provide LSU with a player who could come in and compete day one for a starting spot.
It’s important to note LSU will host Mathews for his final visit on Jan. 28. The opportunity to be the last school in his ear and get a taste of Death Valley will play a large role in his decision. With so much change to the coaching staff and fresh roster, for Mathews to be on campus and see first hand what the Tigers have to offer is crucial.
Coach Kelly and his new LSU staff will be fighting until the buzzer attempting to land the Ponchatoula native. Kelly has made it well-known his plans of recruiting the state of Louisiana as tough as possible, eager to keep in-state talent close to home.
With such a prized recruit right down the road, it’ll be imperative to leave a lasting impressive on one of the nation’s top safeties during his final visit. As National Signing Day gets closer and closer, the Tigers are in great position to land a major piece to this 2022 class.