Another day and another cornerback commitment for Ohio State as the Buckeyes landed Cincinnati (Ohio) Winton Woods standout Jermaine Mathews Jr. on Friday afternoon. The fast rising prospect chose Ohio State over Cincinnati and recent offers from Alabama and LSU to become the fourth cornerback pledge in the Buckeyes’ 2023 recruiting class and the third just this week.
What Ohio State is getting
Jermaine Mathews has been one of the hottest cornerback prospects in the nation in recent weeks. The Buckeyes had been keeping close tabs on him over the past year, but a huge month on the camp circuit led to offers from Ohio State, LSU, and Alabama in a very short window.
Mathews turned in a big-time performance at Ohio State’s camp, testing well early in the afternoon and then locking up receivers in 1-on-1’s after that. At 6-feet tall, Mathews is a physical and competitive cornerback prospect who has also been clocked in the low 4.4’s and high 4.3’s at college camp this summer.
This is not some type of revisionist history, while Mathews was dominating the Ohio State camp, I was live posting on the Ask the Insiders board about how well he was doing and how this was clearly an offer-worthy effort being put forward. Mathews then went and turned in the same type of effort at LSU, earning an offer from the Tigers.
His blend of size, speed, and competitiveness makes him one of the very best prospects in the state of Ohio for the 2023 class and his quick rise is a bit reminiscent of Denzel Ward, another fast athlete who loved to play a physical brand of football. This is a rare case where I throw out the rankings and just trust what Mathews has done recently and the types of programs that he has impressed who were able to see him in person this summer.
What it means for recruiting
Ohio State, barring something really out of the ordinary, should be finished recruiting the cornerback position in the 2023 class. It would likely take a decommitment or some extremely unforeseen roster attrition for the Buckeyes to revisit the cornerback position over the next several months.
With four big, athletic corners in the fold, all of whom seem to be rising up the rankings the past several months, Tim Walton has landed an outstanding first haul in his return from the NFL. It’s especially impressive given how quickly he not only had to form relationships with these prospects but also in a limited timeframe from an evaluation standpoint.
That should provide for a lot of optimism in the 2024 class as Walton can now focus almost exclusively on the rising juniors and he’ll have more than six months of extra time to evaluate and lock in on his top guys than he did for this group.
While Ohio State’s cornerback room is not short on talent, it is light on numbers and a big haul like this should go a long way toward replenishing the room and establishing more depth.
For even more on Mathews’ pledge to Ohio State, check out the latest episode of the Givs and The Bank recruiting podcast embedded below.