The complete retooling of the LSU roster continued in April as the Tigers were bolstered by the addition of a 5-star recruit to their class of 2022. Jacoby Mathews – out of Ponchatoula (Ponchatoula, LA) High School – chose to remain in state for his college years in picking LSU over the likes of Florida, Alabama, and Clemson.
By Steve Wright
Mathews is the No. 30 player in the class, the No. 2 safety prospect, and the No. 3 player in Louisiana per the 247Sports Composite rankings. He plays both sides of the ball for his high school, working as a run-first quarterback on offense and as a hybrid safety/linebacker on defense. Mathews is a big player
already at 6-foot-2 and over 200 pounds, and he will expect to bulk up and carry his athleticism at the college level where he should play at around 215/220.
In the film below you can see some of the traits that make Mathews such a big get for LSU. He is able to change direction exceptionally well for a player of his size and runs more than well enough to track receivers to the deep parts of the field. He is an outstanding read and react defender – one that sniffs
out a play before it has the chance to develop because of his natural instincts. He is also a finisher – whether that be picking off a ball in the air or coming up to make an aggressive hit on a running back or wide receiver crossing the middle of the defense.
The very first play is one that Mathews has no right at all to make. He sees a broken coverage on the opposite side of the field while covering his own receiver and instantly makes the correct decision to get deep and prevent a touchdown. He is likely the only player quick enough on the field to get to the ball in the air as the opposition quarterback passes to what he thinks is a wide-open player for a touchdown. Instead, Mathews flies over to make one of the more unlikely interceptions you will ever see. Plays like – one that in terms of instincts remind scouts of Tyrann Mathieu – will make Mathews a star for the Tigers.