Florida State

WR D.J. Matthews could make early impact for Florida State

D.J. Matthews

While Florida State early enrollees like Cam Akers and Joshua Kaindoh already are making a name for themselves, the incoming summer recruits are about to get their chance.

Heading the group of summer enrollees are five-star signees defensive tackle Marvin Wilson and running back Khalan Laborn, who will surely make an impression on their respective position groups as early as this season. Wide receiver D.J. Matthews, though, might have the clearest path to making an immediate impact.

Matthews, a four-star recruit out of Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Florida, could very well take advantage of an uncertain Florida State receiving corps decimated by injuries and departures this offseason.

With only receivers like Nyquwan Murray and Auden Tate looking like a sure thing at the position as things stand now, Matthews could find himself seeing significant playing time his freshman season.

Matthews, who only just enrolled at Florida State in mid-May, probably was among the most electric players in high school football over the past few years. At 5-foot-11, 160 pounds, Matthews is a shifty receiver who uses his quickness to break away from coverage.

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But Matthews is not only limited to his speed, though, with one high school coach, for example, comparing him to Steve Smith due to his grittiness. He also has a great ability to high point the football with an elite vertical leap.

If you look even deeper into Matthews’ senior season at Trinity, you will see him often in the backfield playing quarterback. Like freshman running back Cam Akers, this versatility seems to speak volumes to his athleticism and knowledge of the game.

Entering the season, the Florida State receivers are one of the biggest question marks for a team that might be ranked as the preseason No. 1. Still, he should have ample opportunity to prove himself.

Players like George Campbell, Keith Gavin and Da’Vante Phillips are receivers who were highly touted coming out of high school but are still unproven in their Seminoles careers. Matthews could of course turns out to be something of a work in process like them.

But it also seems at least as equally as likely for them to find themselves even further away from the starting lineup with Matthews set to enter the mix.

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(You can follow Jordan Spina on Twitter @jspina904)

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