Making the Case: Five-star safety Jacoby Mathews
Then LSU saw a coaching change from Ed Orgeron to Brian Kelly and all the while the five-star safety from Ponchatoula, La., remained open in his recruitment.
There was a rumor that Mathews was seriously considering a commitment to the Aggies at the Under Armour Game, but he decided to hold off.
The hiring of assistant coach Corey Raymond could have pushed Florida much higher up his list, giving the Gators even more confidence that they could swoop in and steal one of Louisiana’s best.
But then there is the LSU factor. Most top in-state kids end up playing for LSU after flirtations elsewhere. The list is long, plus Mathews has already been committed to the school.
Kelly has made the Ponchatoula standout a priority down the stretch and he visits this weekend, so momentum could be an important thing in the final days here.
In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then National Recruiting Director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Mathews ending up.
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When assistant director of player personnel Keiwan Ratliff was there, he had a great relationship with Mathews and he was all in. He was telling recruits, people who covered Florida, the coaches, that everything was going great. The previous staff counted him in the bank and slow-played him and then things got crazy and then the new coaches came in.
When all that was going on, Jacoby was an afterthought and a lot of people thought he was going somewhere else, but when Corey Raymond got hired that sparked big-time interest. Florida feels moderately good about him, but the Gators are concerned about this visit to LSU this weekend. - Jason Higdon, 1standTenFlorida.com
I wouldn’t say it’s 100% done, but if the Tigers don’t reel him back in I’d be surprised. There are a couple schools in the mix but there have been a lot of hires of guys he knows on that staff, and LSU doesn’t miss out on top guys in the state. The Florida visit could be interesting, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t end up back at LSU. - Julie Boudwin, TigerDetails.com
Mathews is in an interesting situation. A&M has had the advantage for a long time because the Aggies have those ties with him and LSU was in such a state of turmoil you didn’t know which direction they would go. Brian Kelly has made Mathews a priority and it’s always tough to pull talent out of Louisiana. - Mark Passwaters, AggieYell.com
I’m going with history here and that makes me firmly believe that Mathews is going to pick LSU. I would suspect his weekend trip to Baton Rouge will be used to familiarize himself even more with Kelly, who can be a compelling figure when closing on top recruits, and to re-engage with the idea of playing his college career down the road at Tiger Stadium.
The Corey Raymond connection at Florida is really interesting and it could mean the Gators get him, and Texas A&M remains in the picture, but as signing day nears it looks like LSU will close strong here and land the five-star safety. - Gorney