Orangebloods - Texas one of five still standing for 5-star Jacoby Mathews
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Texas one of five still standing for 5-star Jacoby Mathews

Jacoby Mathews plans to have a final decision in February.
Jacoby Mathews plans to have a final decision in February. (Cole Patterson)

Five-star safety Jacoby Mathews is one of the country’s top remaining uncommitted or unsigned players in the 2022 recruiting class. Ranking No. 28 on the Rivals100, Mathews would add an impressive bow to any team’s class in this cycle, and the Ponchatoula (LA) standout has five schools that are still in contention.

Texas, Texas A&M, LSU, Florida and Alabama are still standing in the race for the defensive playmaker, and the Longhorns are hoping they can finish with a flourish and land Mathews when he announces his decision on February 2. Mathews has one visit set for Florida on the weekend of January 14, and he says a second stop in Austin (he took an official visit in October) isn’t out of the question.

“I think I might try to get back up there if I’m not too busy trying to visit everywhere else. I love Texas to death. I’ve been out there to Austin before, when I went on my visit,” Mathews said. “I loved the city when I went on that visit. They actually lost to Oklahoma State but watching the defense play, I was excited. I still loved watching how they played. Once I had the one-on-one with coach (Blake) Gideon, he broke down he would play me on the screen, I just feel like they have a great plan for me.”

Depth charts are something Mathews is eyeing closely as he hopes to be an early contributor for whichever program he chooses. Texas is pretty thin at the safety position due to graduation and transfers, but Mathews said most of the schools on his list measure up pretty equally in that department.

“It’s a great shot, a great shot (for early playing time at Texas). But it’s like that with a few schools so there’s a lot of thinking I have to do on that part of it,” Mathew said.

At 6-2 and 196 pounds, Mathews has the length and range to be effective in pass coverage, but he’s he also has a frame that will allow him to play downhill at the next level. In his meetings with the Texas coaches, that versatility and how it would fit into UT’s defensive scheme have been major talking points.

“Really (they see me) as a free safety mostly, but roll me down sometimes, let me blitz sometimes,” Mathews said. “That’s how I like to be used, show my versatility. I feel like that’s what can get me to the league.”

Gideon is heavily involved in Mathews’ recruitment since he’s Mathews’ position coach. Fellow DB coach Terry Joseph is also a key figure thanks in part to Joseph’s ties to the state of Louisiana, including Mathews’ head coach.

“Not only is he a Louisiana guy, he played under my head coach. I didn’t know that until he started recruiting me, then he told me. My coach didn’t even tell me,” Mathews said. “Once he told me that, everything just changed about how I viewed him as a person. I just love him as a man.”

Along with the Florida visit, Alabama and LSU are expected to get January visits. When it comes time to ultimately decide, Mathews said he’s not quite sure what will separate one team from the pack.

“That’s kind of hard for me to answer. All five of those schools really have a 100 percent chance of getting me. There’s just a lot of praying I have to fall back on at the end of the day,” Mathews said.