Ohio State has been landing commitments in droves coming off of two massive recruiting weekends in a row. After the Buckeyes landed three top-100 receivers last week, this week it was time for them to load up on the secondary. With Kayin Lee and Calvin Simpson-Hunt both joining Ohio State’s 2023 class in the last few days, Friday brought the third defensive back commitment of the week.
Making things official this afternoon, four-star in-state athlete Jermaine Mathews announced his commitment to Ohio State.
BREAKING: Four-Star CB Jermaine Mathews Jr. has Committed to Ohio State, he tells @On3Recruits— Hayes Fawcett (@Hayesfawcett3) July 1, 2022
The 6’0 175 CB from Cincinnati, OH chose the Buckeyes over Penn State, Oklahoma, LSU, & others.
He joins Ohio State’s No. 1 Class in the ‘23 Team Rankings https://t.co/NUTAo0LFJi pic.twitter.com/taV9chKZLG
A product of Winton Woods High School in Cincinnati, Mathews comes in as the nation’s No. 24 athlete and the No. 9 player in Ohio. The Buckeyes were able to outlast the close-to-home Bearcats as well as Jackson State, LSU, Oklahoma and Penn State to round out Mathews’ top six schools heading into his decision. Ohio State had the luxury of being his most recent official visit on June 17, and clearly it was enough for Mathews to decide to suit up in the scarlet and grey at the next level.
While listed as an athlete, Mathews projects as a defensive back — most likely a corner. The 6-foot, 175-pounder picked up an offer from Ohio State after impressing at a camp in early June. He looked so good, in fact, that Eleven Warriors’ Dan Hope listed him as the No. 2 prospect he saw at Ohio State’s summer camps, which is saying a lot given some of the other big names in attendance. This comes after Mathews rose over 100 spots in the 247Sports rankings to earn that fourth-star, and the Buckeyes certainly took notice of a potential diamond in the rough as a late-bloomer.
Here is what 247Sports national recruiting analyst Allen Trieu had to say of Mathews’ abilities:
Quick cover corner with the skills and tools to play man to man or in zone. Has good change of direction and recovery/closing speed. Shows he can play the ball in the air. Has to add weight and strength still. Was not a varsity starter until his junior year so still has learning to do, but has improved rapidly and has the movement skills to be a high-end college corner and have a chance to play on Sundays. Fits as a player who could play both in the slot and outside.
Mathews becomes the 16th member of Ohio State’s No. 1 overall class in 2023, and the sixth player from the state of Ohio. He is the sixth defensive back to commit to the Buckeyes in this cycle, joining the aforementioned Lee and Simpson-Hunt as well as fellow corner Dijon Johnson and safeties Malik Hartford and Cedric Hawkins — quite the impressive haul for the two new assistants leading those rooms in Tim Walton and Perry Eliano. Mathews’ addition bumps Ohio State’s class up to 269.08, which is six points ahead of Notre Dame for that top spot with the same amount of commitments.
Mathews will be the final cornerback in this class for Ohio State, but the program is still very much in the hunt for a number of big pieces on defense, and perhaps two or three more additions on offense. The Buckeyes are still very much in the hunt for five-star safety Caleb Downs and five-star defensive lineman Matayo Uiagalelei, as well as their top target at linebacker in Tackett Curtis, among others. They would also still like to add another offensive lineman or two in addition to a quarterback and maybe a second running back. Either way, Ryan Day and his staff will be looking to keep their hot streak rolling after adding six new names to their 2023 class in just the past two weeks.