The Hurry-Up: Four-Star 2025 OT Jaelyne Matthews Puts Ohio State in His Top Nine, NCAA Expands Schools’ Official Visit Limit from 56 to 70 and Eliminates Photoshoots on Unofficial Visits

By Garrick Hodge on December 1, 2023 at 6:30 pm
Jaelyne Matthews

​One of the top offensive tackles in the 2025 class has narrowed down his recruitment.

Four-star New Jersey offensive tackle Jaelyne Matthews released a top nine on Friday consisting of Ohio State, Georgia, Miami, Penn State, Tennessee, Michigan, Maryland, Rutgers and Texas. 

Per 247Sports’ composite rankings, Matthews is considered the 96th-rated prospect and the 10th-best offensive tackle in the 2025 class. Matthews was offered by OSU in late April of 2022. 

“(Coach Justin Frye) got on the phone with my coach basically, he came down to the school and I bumped into him,” Matthews told Eleven Warriors after getting the offer. “And then I came down to the classroom and he basically offered me a full scholarship to Ohio State. They said they offered me because of my aggressiveness on film, how smart I am on the football field and my size.”

Matthews was a former Penn State commit, but decommitted in September and reopened his recruiting process, though he’s still considering the Nittany Lions. 

NCAA D1 Oversight Committees pass two new recruiting rules

On Thursday, the NCAA Division I Oversight Committees passed legislation making two changes to recruiting rules. For one, the amount of official recruiting visits a school can host each academic year increased from 56 to 70, which makes sense considering recruits are no longer limited to five official visits themselves, though athletes can still only take one official visit per school. 

College football creatives will rejoice at the second legislation change, as schools are now prohibited from arranging photoshoots for recruits on unofficial visits, though they’re still permitted on official visits. Not only will that change allow for recruits to spend more time with the football staff at the school they’re visiting unofficially and reduce the workloads of the creative staff, but it may reduce visits from prospects who aren’t seriously considering that school anyway and just wanted a photo shoot in team gear. 

Washington State QB Cam Ward enters transfer portal, mass exodus at WR at Notre Dame

There’s already been a bevy of talented players that have entered the transfer portal within the last week. On Friday, Washington State quarterback Cam Ward became one of the latest to declare he’d be entering the transfer portal as a graduate transfer. He figures to be one of the most sought-after if not the most sought-after signal-caller available. 

Ward had a terrific season for the Cougars, throwing for 3,732 yards with 25 touchdowns to seven interceptions while also rushing for eight touchdowns. He threw for 3,231 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2022.

He’ll have no shortage of suitors and will also explore entering the NFL Draft. It’s unlikely Ohio State will be ultra-aggressive pursuing a quarterback in the portal this offseason, but Ward is the caliber of quarterback who could warrant the Buckeyes’ consideration.

Some additional food for thought: Nebraska coach Matt Rhule publicly stated earlier this week that the going rate in NIL money for established transfer quarterbacks costs between $1-2 million, so there could be a hefty NIL price tag attached with Ward for any school interested in his services.

In other portal news that I found interesting, Notre Dame has gotten gashed with wide receiver transfers this offseason, losing Chris Tyree, Tobias Merriweather, Braylon James and on Friday, former OSU recruiting target Rico Flores Jr.

Perhaps at least part of the reason for the mass exodus is the firing of Notre Dame wide receivers coach Chansi Stuckey, but in Flores’ case, he was already receiving extensive playing time as a freshman. Whatever the case, the Fighting Irish are down to four scholarship wide receivers left on the roster for their bowl game.

Kobe Black leaves OSU off final five

Not that this is much of a surprise, but four-star cornerback Kobe Black left Ohio State off of his final five schools list announced earlier this week. Black, who made an official visit to Ohio State this summer, has trimmed his school list down to Texas, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, Oregon and LSU and set a commitment date for Dec. 13. 

Two weeks before the decision date, Texas is still the overwhelming favorite to land Black.

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