LSU already has the commitments of five-star quarterback Walker Howard and five-star offensive tackle Will Campbell, and another now another five-star prospect is headed to Baton Rouge. Safety Jacoby Mathews, the No. 30 overall player in the Class of 2022, announced that he will play for coach Ed Orgeron and the Tigers in a Twitter post on Friday afternoon.
"I think [LSU recruiting specialist] Mason Smith is a great guy," Mathews told 247Sports. "Me and Mason have the closest relationship out of every recruiter I'm close with. He recruits hard and is a hard working guy. This move definitely brought light to my eyes. The way he works and works to get kids over and build relationships and become more of a big brother, that's important!"
Mathews, who hails from Ponchatoula (Louisiana) High School, chose the Tigers over Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Texas. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is the second-ranked safety in the country and the third-ranked prospect in the state of Louisiana. The two-sport star has drawn a comparison to Jacksonville Jaguars safety Ronnie Harrison from 247Sports southeast recruiting analyst Andrew Ivins, who filed this scouting report.
"A big-framed athlete that looks more like a linebacker than he does a safety," Ivins wrote. "Has spent the past couple of years doing a little bit of everything on Friday nights. Can get the job done as a run-first quarterback at the high school level, but future is on the defensive side of the ball. Changes directions extremely well for a player that could eventually carry 215 pounds or more. Fluid in the lower half and is able to open his hips and run. Takes sharp angles in coverage and has shown on tape that he can get to the deepest parts of the field when needed. Quick to read and diagnose.
"Aggressive when the ball is in the air and will use his core strength to outmuscle receivers. Didn't get a ton of reps in the secondary as a junior due to offensive workload, but plays with a physical appetite and will try to lower his shoulder pads before running through a target. Tested well the winter before senior season posting strong numbers in both the vertical and broad jumps. Uses those explosive muscle fibers to throw down dunks on the hardwood. Could settle in as a big safety in college, but tweener body type suggests that he might ultimately be utilized as more of a box player. Will need to keep improving his craft over the next few years, but viewed by multiple college contacts as a future NFL player given how he moves. Should eventually start at the Power 5 level and could see meaningful snaps early on in his career as his skillset is conducive to slowing down up-tempo spread offenses."
The edition of Mathews boosts what already was one of the best classes in the nation. Nine of LSU's 13 commits during this recruiting cycle are either four- or five-star prospects. That class is currently ranked third in the nation in the 247Sports Composite class rankings.