Mathews Calls OSU Visit His 'Grading Stick'

Syracuse (N.Y.) Christian Brothers Academy defensive end McKenzie Mathews took an official visit to Ohio State over the weekend and came away impressed. Mathews does not list the Buckeyes as his favorite, but he does say that the OSU visit will be his "grading stick" as his moves forward. We caught up with Mathews for more.

Defensive end McKenzie Mathews from Christian Brothers Academy in Syracuse (N.Y.) took an official visit to Ohio State last weekend and was in attendance for OSU's 35-24 comeback win over Michigan State.

"It was a pretty good visit. I really enjoyed it," Mathews said. "The 105,000 people at the game, that is always going to stand out. That was awesome. But I thought the way the coaches treated me was very good. I liked the coaching staff and the players I hung with were really cool. It was a pretty good overall experience."

Mathews was treated to a hard-fought, back-and-forth Big Ten contest between the Buckeyes and Spartans.

"I thought it was a good game," he said. "Defense saved them again. Ohio State's defense is absolutely amazing. And the offense came on at the end of the game."

Mathews was asked if he was paying attention to any players in particular.

"Well, if you watch the game you're always going to be watching A.J. Hawk," he said. "But I was mostly watching the defensive line to see what kind of stunts they run and stuff like that."

Mathews arrived in Columbus on Friday and his first stop was the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

"I went over to the athletic center and I saw the indoor practice field and the rest of the football building," he said. "It was real nice and they showed me how they're going to be expanding the weight room.

"That's also where I got to meet the speed coach (Butch Reynolds). That's something that no other team has is a speed coach. And he's an Olympic champion – an Olympic 400 champion."

Mathews was hosted by freshman defensive end Lawrence Wilson on the visit.

"He's a nice guy. I liked him," Mathews said. "He just kind of showed me around and introduced me to a lot of the players. We hung with the running back with the long, crazy-type hair, Maurice (Wells)."

Mathews enjoyed staying on campus, rather than at a downtown hotel.

"Yeah, I had a hotel room at the Blackwell which was really nice," he said.

Mathews was asked if he could see himself in a Buckeye uniform one day.

"I think I could see myself in a Buckeye uniform, but I'm not really sure yet because I still have to go on some visits," he said. "But basically this (the Ohio State visit) is going to be the grading stick."

Mathews does not have any other official visits scheduled at this time.

"I'm not sure yet," he said. "I might be going to the Michigan-Ohio State game for my next visit."

He has already taken an official visit to Pittsburgh. He is also considering: Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, Wisconsin, Stanford, Syracuse, Rutgers, Alabama, North Carolina and Central Florida.

At some point, he would probably like to visit Coral Gables to see what the Hurricanes are all about.

"Most likely, yes," Mathews said.

The 6-3, 240-pound Mathews has 12 sacks through seven games this season. He is ranked as the No. 34 defensive end prospect in the country by

Mathews carries a 3.0 GPA and scored an 1160 on the SAT.

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