Notre Dame picked up its second commitment for the class of 2013 on Wednesday when “big skill” athlete Jacon Matuska picked the Irish a few days after visiting South Bend for Notre Dame’s mini junior day last weekend. Matuska, a top 247 prospect according to 24/7 Sports, was recruited as a tight end by some schools, but will likely start off on the defensive side of the ball for the Irish.
Currently measuring at 6’5″, 240 lbs, Matuska clearly fits into the profile of a “big skill” athlete with the ability to make an impact on the offensive side of the ball as a tight end or on the defensive side of the ball as an outside backer or defensive end depending on how much he grows. Given his frame and current size, defensive end certainly seems more likely for the versatile Ohio native though.
What makes Matuska so valuable to this class, aside from his versatility, is the speed and athleticism he brings for a prospect his size. According to 24/7 Sports, who has the versatile prospect ranked as the #159 overall recruit and #6 tight end in the country for 2013, Matuska runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds. Watch his film below and see how well he moves in the open field and it’s easy to see why the Irish coaching staff was quick to extend a scholarship offer to the Ohio native.
Matuska doesn’t have the speed of an Aaron Lynch or the mammoth size of a Stephon Tuitt, but brings a well rounded skill set with the size and athleticism that Kelly and his defensive staff look for in their defensive ends. If he were to be compared to anyone on the current Irish roster it would be a Chase Hounshell or a Troy Niklas – versatile athletes who can contribute on either side of the ball.
Another thing to love about this pickup for Notre Dame is the continued effort by the Irish coaching staff to make the defensive line a priority in recruiting after witnessing the previous two coaching regimes struggle to recruit, and hold on to talent, at the position.
As an added bonus, Matuska brings a love of Notre Dame with him as well. According a report from Christian McCollom of Irish Sports Daily, Matuska’s father said that Notre Dame is where his son wanted to be all along and Notre Dame was who he grew up cheering for.
“I told him to just think about putting on the uniform and coming out of the tunnel and asked him, ‘Where would you want to be? What colors would you want to be wearing? When you graduate, what degree would you want to have?’” Jim Matuska said. “I think that was the decision-maker, just the fact that it’s Notre Dame and it’s something that he’s felt in his heart since he grew up. I think that was probably the real deciding factor.”
Prior to committing to Notre Dame Matuska picked up offers from the likes of Michigan, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
With Matuska on board, Notre Dame has two commitments for the class of 2013 and will hopefully pick up some much needed momentum as Notre Dame is behind most of its rivals in terms of the number of commitments it has received.