Jacob Matuska (Defensive End/TE 6'5" 265 pounds)The second overall member of the class to pledge Irish, Matuska was lauded by Bishop Hartley (Columbus, Ohio) head coach Brad Burchfield in an interview conducted by Irisheyes.com recruiting analyst, Brian Dohn:
"He's incredibly athletic. He's one of the top basketball players in Columbus," Burchfield told Dohn. "He plays tight end and outside linebacker for us. He can run with vertical routes and he can rush the passer. He's got all the tools you would expect from someone who could play at Notre Dame."
"He's really tough. He's a great kid and he's obviously a very talented player. He's a high motor kid and he's a winner. He was obviously highly recruited, one of the top kids in Ohio.
"They're getting a great player, a great kid. They're getting the perfect fit for what they're doing and we're all really excited about it. He's excited, Notre Dame is excited, and it's going to be a perfect fit."
Fellow incoming Defensive End prospects: Four-star prospect Isaac Rochell
Berk on Matuska: Safe recruit capable of playing on both sides of the ball. Projected as a defensive end, Matuska could also add weight and move inside giving the Irish an athletic longer frame in the middle of their 3-4 defensive scheme.
Dohn on Matuska: Tight end or defensive end? That was the question when he first committed. He will be a defensive end, but he has the athleticism to thing about playing on offense. He has good balance and a nice first step coming off the edge.
O'Malley's Initial SlottingRoom to grow. That's the key for Big Skill recruit turned Irish defensive end Jacob Matuska.
The second player among the current 23-man crop to pledge Irish, Matuska's eventual evolution to defensive end could prove crucial as early as 2014, especially if senior-to-be Stephon Tuitt forgoes his final season of eligibility to be a high pick in the NFL Draft.
At 6'5" 265, Matuska has at least 18 months, if not a full 30 to develop under head coach Brian Kelly, defensive coordinator Bob Diaco, and the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Paul Longo. He'll redshirt this fall behind a deep group of defensive ends, but pending Tuitt's decision next off-season, could crack the two-deep as a redshirt-freshman next fall.
In an ideal world, Matuska would be a five-year player in South Bend, one ready, willing, and able to contribute as a junior/redshirt-sophomore beginning in 2015.
Links of Note: Click the links below for more highlight reels and comprehensive recruitment information for Jacob Matuska:
Link to Matuska's highlight clips (scroll to the bottom of the page)