For a good portion of the recruiting process Missouri City Elkins offensive tackle Jake Matthews, son of NFL Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews, had been focused on just three schools: Texas, USC and Texas A&M.
But now the No. 11 overall player in the state has eliminated one of his options and is down to his final two.
…And the Texas Longhorns didn’t make the cut.
Jake Matthews is now focused only on Texas A&M and USC. It would seem like A&M has the advantage, given that the 6-5, 285-pound linemen has been favoring the Aggies, but a recent trip west to the University of Southern California has certainly given him plenty to think about.
“I liked it a lot,” said the Elkins offensive tackle of his recent unofficial visit to USC. “Coach (Pete) Carroll and Ken Norton weren’t there, but coach (Pat) Ruel, the offensive line coach, showed me around.
“I got to see the football side of USC, which I didn’t get to see before. I really liked the area and the campus, even though the surrounding area isn’t that great. I loved the football aspect of what they have going on there.”
His trip west only seemed to pave the way for an eventual commitment to A&M.
“It changed my mind a lot,” Matthews said of his top schools. “I was kind of leaning toward (Texas) A&M because I didn’t get the chance to check out USC a lot. I went there my sophomore year, and (my cousin) Clay took me around the campus, but getting a real visit as a recruit was what I wanted to do.
“They never said anything like ‘if you come in and you’ll be starting right away.’ They said they really needed a tackle coming in this year, and they think I can be the guy. They said I can hopefully work my way up and start early.”
The trip was enough for Matthews to re-consider a possible commitment, opting to give a longer look toward the Trojans before his decision is made.
“Definitely USC and A&M are the top two schools I’m looking at,” Matthews said. “I was thinking about committing to A&M if I didn’t like USC that much. When I look into it, I can’t really say who would be my top school right now.
“I’d like to get it (my decision) over with before the end of the summer. I don’t know really how it going to go, I could decide in the middle of my senior year. I’ll just get the feeling and that’s when I’ll know I want to commit.”
With the goal a decision in line by the fall, Matthews will begin to break down both schools, although the decision could easily drag itself into the season.
“I’ll look at the pros and cons of each school,“ he said. “With USC, it’s pretty far away and at A&M my brother played there. I’ll look at things like that. “I think I’m done with unofficial visits for the summer.”
Interview with Jake Matthews conducted by Brian Matthews of fellow ESPN affiliate, WeAreSC.com.