How LSU football got back in the mix for key in-state recruit

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

A couple of months ago, it appeared that LSU Football was a longshot to land 2022 four-star defensive back Jacoby Mathews.

Mathews, 6-foot-2/193 lbs from Ponchatoula, LA (Ponchatoula), is ranked in 247Sports’ composite rankings as the No. 3 safety in the country and the No. 3 player in Louisiana. He’s also ranked as the No. 37 overall player in the 2022 recruiting class.

The Louisiana native was committed to LSU back in the summer, but he decommitted after a visit to Texas A&M.

Florida and Texas A&M have been viewed as the front runners over the last few months, but now it appears that the Tigers are very much back in this battle.

And it’s all because of new LSU head coach Brian Kelly (and his staff, of course).

New LSU football head coach Brian Kelly has Tigers back in the mix for Jacoby Mathews

Mathews recently spoke to 247Sports about his recruitment and he confirmed that Florida, LSU, and Texas A&M are his final three schools.

The talented defensive back said he could see himself ending up at any of those three schools. It sounds like it’s a pretty even battle for now.

Fortunately for the Tigers, they are receiving the final visit from Mathews before National Signing Day. That’s a big deal. When a battle is this tight, the team that gets the final visit typically wins the recruiting battle.

So how did LSU get back among the frontrunners for Mathews?

Well, that’s the Brian Kelly effect.

Mathews told 247Sports that the arrival of Kelly put LSU back among his top schools.

“Really it was Coach Kelly, when he got there showing up to one of the biggest games for myself when he first got there,” said Mathews. “He called me immediately after the game and let me know he was going to get people over there that can develop me and get me to the next level….they’ve come from behind but they’ve made a big push and I put them up there.”

Next. Cool story from Joe Burrow's Ohio State days. dark

If LSU ends up landing Mathews, it’ll be a sure sign that Kelly knows what he’s doing when it comes to in-state recruiting.

And that’s a bad sign for the rest of the SEC West moving forward.