Just taking one look at Ponchatoula safety Jacoby Mathews and it's easy to see why so many college football teams are enamored with his talent on the football field. Heading into a critical senior season, the 2022 safety is emerging as one of the top talents in the entire class and has a litany of teams hoping to land his services.
At 6-foot-1, 205 pounds, Mathews looks ready to take the college football stage by storm but admits that the recruiting process can be quite taxing at times. He recently released a top 10, one that included the likes of LSU, Florida State, Alabama and Mississippi State among others.
"It's going good but it's getting a little hard, I can't pick up my phone the same way without notifications blowing up," Mathews said. "I just want to let the world know those are the teams that are recruiting me the hardest, the teams that I hear from everyday and so I feel like it's going pretty good."
LSU is the backyard school for Mathews, who lives about an hour away from the program that he grew up watching. It's been almost a year since LSUCountry caught up with the talented safety and he had just started getting to know some of the coaching staff at the time.
He's in a far better place with the coaching staff then he was a year ago and is really enjoying getting to know the coaches on both sides of the ball.
"I talk to pretty much the whole staff at LSU," Mathews said. "Offense to defense, I talk to both sides of the ball almost everyday and ever since I dropped my list, they've made a way bigger push on me."
At one time, LSU had received commitments from top Texas safeties Bryan Allen and Bryce Anderson, who is actually a teammate of Mathews on the 7-on-7 Louisiana Bootleggers team he plays with. The Tigers have since lost commitments from both players and have prioritized Mathews as the top safety in Louisiana.
"They see me really anywhere on the defense, mostly safety but they'll let me play some return man," Mathews said. "I feel good knowing that I could be used in a variety of ways."
Mathews said to expect a commitment at any time between now and signing day later this winter. With the physical tools in place, Mathews says he's working to improve his hips and speed in coverage ahead of his senior season.
Not only is Mathews a safety at Ponchatoula High School but he also plays quarterback, the position that former teammate TJ Finley dominated in his high school career before signing with the Tigers. The two have remained close since Finley went off to college and said whenever he's in town they always try to get together.
"When me and TJ talk, it's never really about football," Mathews said. "We're pretty cool, we've built a good bond ever since my freshman year and he was one of my first teammates ever in football."
Of the 10 currently committed players in the 2022 class, seven are from the Louisiana ranks, which is something that Mathews really likes to see. From highly touted guys like Walker Howard and Will Campbell to more of the unknowns like Bo Bordelon, this is a group that has heavy local ties and hopes to continue to bring on similar talent.
"I could argue about this all day but I feel like the most talent comes out of Louisiana," Mathews said. "I feel like we're all underrated."