Jermaine Mathews’ decision to camp with Ohio State on June 1 changed his life.
During one-on-one drills in camp, the four-star Ohio cornerback was the best player on the field, locking down any and all wide receivers who challenged him. The 6-foot, 175-pound cornerback was bolstered by his own private cheering section made up of Ohio State football players. Mathews had built a rapport with them over the years, and they knew how badly Mathews needed a strong performance if he wanted to earn an offer from the school he grew up rooting for.
The Mathews File
- Class: 2023
- Size: 6-0/175
- Pos: CB
- School: Winton Woods (Cincinnati, Ohio)
- Composite Rating: ★★★★
- Composite Rank: #373 (#24 CB)
It took until the summer of his senior year, but the Winton Woods product finally earned what he had so desperately coveted: an offer to play for Ohio State.
“I think the decision to just come to camp worked out so good,” Mathews said that day. “I’m just happy I made that decision because otherwise it could have been a what-if. It felt really good to get the offer. It’s really hard to explain because it’s something you’ve been waiting on for so long. And then when it happened, it’s just like, wow. (Ryan Day) said I earned it.”
Sixteen days later, Mathews returned to Columbus for an official visit, an experience that was critical for the fast-rising cornerback. Two weeks after that visit wrapped up, Mathews fulfilled a lifelong dream and accepted Ohio State’s offer, committing to the Buckeyes on Friday at a ceremony at Winton Woods High School.
“Just growing up in Ohio, everybody wants to go to Ohio State,” Mathews said. “Everybody just dreams of playing for Ohio State and getting recruited by them. And now, my dream is coming true.”
According to 247Sports’ composite rankings, Mathews is ranked as the 373rd-best player in the 2023 class. He is the 16th commit in Ohio State’s current class and the fourth and final cornerback, joining Dijon Johnson, Kayin Lee and Calvin Simpson-Hunt. Mathews is the sixth player from Ohio in OSU’s 2023 cycle along with Luke Montgomery, Joshua Padilla, Malik Hartford, Austin Siereveld and Will Smith Jr.
|WR||BRANDON INNISS||★★★★★||#18 NATL | #2 WR||6-0 | 190||American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)|
|WR||CARNELL TATE||★★★★★||#28 NATL | #3 WR||6-2 | 185||IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida)|
|OT||LUKE MONTGOMERY||★★★★||#42 NATL | #4 OT||6-5 | 280||Findlay (Findlay, OH)|
|WR||NOAH ROGERS||★★★★||#50 NATL | #9 WR||6-2 | 180||Rolesville (Rolesville, NC)|
|CB||DIJON JOHNSON||★★★★||#95 NATL | #11 CB||6-1 | 190||Wharton (Tampa, FL)|
|TE||TY LOCKWOOD||★★★★||#131 NATL | #8 TE||6-5 | 225||Independence (Thompson's Station, TN)|
|CB||KAYIN LEE||★★★★||#145 NATL | #18 CB||6-2.5 | 175||Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, GA)|
|S||MALIK HARTFORD||★★★★||#149 NATL | #8 S||6-2.5 | 175||Lakota West (West Chester, OH)|
|CB||CALVIN SIMPSON-HUNT||★★★★||#173 NATL | #22 CB||6-0 | 175||Waxahachie (Waxahachie, Texas)|
|IOL||JOSHUA PADILLA||★★★★||#180 NATL | #8 IOL||6-4 | 265||Wayne (Dayton, OH)|
|S||CEDRICK HAWKINS||★★★★||#210 NATL | #14 S||6-0 | 175||Cocoa (Cocoa, FL)|
|RB||MARK FLETCHER||★★★★||#219 NATL | #10 RB||6-1 | 225||American Heritage (Fort Lauderdale, FL)|
|OL||AUSTIN SIEREVELD||★★★★||#222 NATL | #9 IOL||6-5 | 320||Lakota East (Middletown, OH)|
|WR||BRYSON RODGERS||★★★★||#270 NATL | #32 WR||6-0.5 | 175||Wiregrass Ranch (Zephyrhills, FL)|
|CB||JERMAINE MATHEWS||★★★★||#373 NATL | #24 ATH||6-0 | 175||Winton Woods (Cincinnati, OH)|
|DL||WILL SMITH JR.||★★★||#451 NATL | #55 DL||6-3 | 260||Dublin Coffman (Dublin, OH)|
|Prospect Rating Data: 247Sports|
Ohio State held off the likes of Cincinnati, Kentucky and Pittsburgh, along with recent offers from Oklahoma, Alabama and LSU, to land the commitment of Mathews.