When Boston Mathews visited Toledo for the first time this winter they had been recruiting him solely off of film they had seen of him at linebacker from more than a year ago. As of midway through his junior season, the 2013 prospect out of Crystal Lake South (Ill.) played offensive line. After the school saw his film at o-line, they made him an offer.
"After they offered me, me and my family what I wanted in a school and what we wanted to stay away from," Mathews said.
When the coaches were able to answer all of his final questions during his visit Saturday, Mathews knew he was ready to make a decision.
"I was blown away by what they had to offer, and I'm so excited," he said after committing on April 29. "It definitely relieves a lot of stress for me."
Toledo plans to use Mathews at center, a position he wasn't even familiar with until a few months ago. His family moved to Crystal Lake before his junior year. He was dealing with the stress of getting used to new teammates, a new system and new coaches when things changed again.
"Halfway through the season, something happened with our current center where he couldn't be in for a few games," Mathews said. "They moved me from linebacker and tight end to left tackle full time. When I first moved I was nervous, I had no clue what to do because I'd never been a full-time blocker. Once I started to learn the technique, I felt more comfortable and I was glad I made the move."
Mathews credits his training at Core 6 Athletes training facility with teaching him the lineman techniques he needs. But it wasn't just his on-field skills that impressed Toledo.
"I think they saw my character," Mathews said. "And on the field they saw that I will always keep going no matter what. I won't stop."
And Mathews is equally enamored with his home for the next five years.
"That's the place for me to be," he said, "and that's the place that's going to win the MAC championship next year. I'm off-the-walls excited that this is what I will be doing for the next five-and-a-half years."
Now that the weight of a decision is off his shoulders, Mathews plans to attend Toledo's camp this summer to meet the other recruits and commits – He's the first Chicago-area prospect to commit to Toledo in the 2013 class.
"I'm looking forward to having some fun my senior year," Mathews said. "I'm mostly excited about just putting everything out there and having a good year on the field."