HT – WT – SPEED : Listed at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, Jacob Matuska is a unique prospect to breakdown. At his current size you see a player capable of playing tight end or defensive end. However, he also could become a future outside linebacker or grow into a defensive tackle or offensive lineman in the years to come. Speed was a concern when we first saw him in December of 2010, but he's filled out, adding 20-pounds of good weight and looks faster.
QUICKNESS – AGILITY – BALANCE : The first time I saw Matuska during Bishop Hartley's state championship game in 2010 he showed quickness, but really stood out with his balance and agility as a blocking tight end capable of releasing and pulling down the hard catches.
STRENGTH : Over the past two years Matuska has continued to grow physically and turned this growth into brute strength as well as using lower body recoil to give more explosion.
BODY FLEXIBILITY : Natural bender who brings a basketball body to the football field.
PRODUCTION : Matuska does a great job of creating his own success on both sides of the ball. This includes playing within an offensive system that likes to run the football. He also shows the ability to beat double-teams on defense to make plays.
ON THE FIELD
Matuska is one of the more interesting players to breakdown as he projects to several positions at the college level. Notre Dame has told him he'll be a defensive end and the more I watched of Matuska, I can see why.
He shows the ability to get off the ball with the strength to neutralize blocks and make a play. He also plays with a high motor showing great toughness.
If a future move back to tight end happens, the Irish will have a player capable of catching the ball with his hands and one adept at making key blocks. In fact, because of his blocking skills you could also add more weight to his frame and turn him into an offensive guard or center.
However, Matuska reminds me of a player Kelly once coached who he moved from tight end to defensive end while at Cincinnati, current Houston Texans outside linebacker Connor Barwin who showed a lot of the same skill set at the same stage of their careers. If Kelly can find lightning in a bottle for a second time in Matuska, Irish fans will love the Ohio native.
Matuska grew up a huge Notre Dame fan and his commitment did not come as a surprise once the Irish offered.
Because he camped in South Bend the staff got a up close look at his physical skill set. I'm also confident Irish strength coach Paul Longo took a hard look at the canvas he'll have to work with in the near future and signed off on Matuska as a major target for the Irish.
I fully expect Matuska to play his best football during his college career and surprise many with his overall abilities.