Mathias gearing up for decision

Standout swingman Dakota Mathias is set for his verbal commitment. Purdue is one of several schools in the hunt for the Elida, Ohio product. Boiler Sports Report details the finals days of his recruitment and what will make the difference in his decision.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. -- Decision day looms for Dakota Mathias. In the coming weeks, the Elida, OH swingman will pick from Purdue, Boston College, Butler or Dayton.

From early on in Mathias's recruitment, Purdue made it known that he's a priority. Coach Matt Painter has followed his games in high school and along the AAU circuit. That gesture hasn't gone forgotten.

"They've stayed in touch a lot more than some of the other schools have," Mathias said when asked why Purdue stands out.

Mathias, who's a 6-foot-4, 185-pound swingman, has been on the Boilermakers' recruiting radar for years. The interest from Purdue's coaches has remained steady, and the feeling is mutual.

"They're a very prestigious school, both with basketball and academics, and that's what I'm looking for in a school," said Mathias of Purdue. "Their community backs them. It's an all-around good fit."

Painter and the Purdue coaches have maintained consistent contact through phone calls and several in-home visits. In March, Mathias returned the favor by visiting West Lafayette.

During his time on Purdue's campus, Mathias was shown what the university offers, both on the court and in the classroom. Each aspect means a great deal to him.

"I got to meet the academic coordinators, the players and the coaching staff," he said. "It was great."

During the tour, the coaching staff restated its interest in Mathias and explained what he can offer to the team. It's fairly simple.

"They need guys that can shoot, pass and dribble—that's what they said," he said. "I can bring that to the table."

When decision day arrives, Mathias will know which school fits him best. For now, he is figuring out where he best fits. Purdue believes that's in West Lafayette; the standout swingman must figure that out on his own.

"It's going to be the feel," he said. "When you get on campus, you talk about it with family and friends—it's going to be a feel thing."

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats, and currently covers the Purdue Boilermakers. A Chicago native, he resides in West Lafayette.
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