Mar 7, 2012, 12:02 PM EST
Less than a week after taking in the sights and sounds of Notre Dame’s campus, two-way jumbo-sized athlete Jacob Matuska has committed to playing for the Fighting Irish. The Columbus, Ohio native will likely start out as a defensive end for Bob Diaco’s defense, but was also heavily recruited as a tight end.
Matuska’s recruiting profile has been on the rise as of late, with offers rolling in from Oklahoma, Nebraska and Michigan lately. While he didn’t put up eye-popping numbers during his junior season, he was well regarded as a tight end, with Michigan making him their third TE offer behind top prospects Adam Breneman and Jake Butt. While it appears that playing on the offensive side of the ball is the preferred destination for Matuska, playing for the Irish out-weighed everything else.
“I think it was in his heart,” Matuska’s father Jim told Steve Wiltfong of 247sports.com. “I think the whole process with the recruiting and such, you kind of lose sight of that. Once we got up there this past weekend and met the coaches and it really was a great visit, was when he truly thought about it, and he thought about it and we put ourselves into the future and imagined him putting on what uniform he wanted to put on and where would you want to graduate from. It was pretty clear to him.”
After a quick look at Matuska’s highlights, it’s clear the 6-foot-5, 240-pound prospect has plenty of athleticism, and will likely add weight to a very nice frame. Unlike a guy like Tate Nichols who played tight end in high school but immediately profiled as a offensive lineman, Matuska has legitimate chops on the offensive side of the ball (which is still an option), and should have plenty of athleticism to come off the edge of the Irish defensive as well.
It’s been mentioned before, but Brian Kelly identified the “big skill” position as an area of need and one look at the highlights below lets you know Matuska qualifies as such. Joining Michigan offensive tackle Steve Elmer in the Irish 2013 recruiting class, Matuska is an important first data point from the new strategy being taken with smaller, more select, junior days.