As the 2017 season nears closer, Jean Ribault High School in Jacksonville, Florida is determined to build on a 2016 season, which ended in a Regional 1-5A semifinal loss to Ponte Vedra (Fla.). Leading the way for the Trojans is senior defensive back, and recent USF commit Devon Matthews.
Matthews (6 feet 2, 182 pounds) recently earned a three-star rating by 247Sports, something that excites him.
“They just rated me a three-star about two weeks ago, once I committed,” Matthews told GN. “I feel good about that, but I don’t let that get to me. It doesn’t matter if I have any stars, I’m still going to play.”
Ribault coach Kelvin Smith is adamant that Matthews is better than his ranking, and Matthews agrees.
“I think I should,” Matthews said. “By my performances, I think I should be more than that.”
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Smith described Matthews as a player who can do it all for the Trojans, no matter what position he was lined up in.
“He’s just an all-around good athlete,” Smith said. “He can run, he can jump, he can do anything on the field. He could quite easily be kicking field goals for us.”
Matthews will have the opportunity to show his versatility for the Trojans this season, possibly even seeing time at wide receiver.
“He’s definitely playing on both sides of the ball, for sure,” Smith said.
Matthews says that one of the main reasons he committed to USF was new coach Charlie Strong.
“What made me pick USF is they have a great coaching staff,” Matthews said. “Coach Charlie Strong, he’s got great experience, he’s got NFL experience.
“They build a family up there too, so that’s why I chose them.”
Matthews has received numerous offers in recent months, and although he is committed to South Florida, he is still mulling over other options.
“My recruitment is still open,” Matthews said. “I’ve still got UConn, Cincinnati, Mississippi State, FIU and other ones as well.”
(You can follow Jordan Spina on Twitter @JSpina904)
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