Monday, July 22, 2013
Aggie Snapshot: OT Jake Matthews
By Sam Khan Jr.
During the summer, GigEmNation will take a closer look at returning starters and other key players on the two-deep for Texas A&M -- excluding the Aggies' 2013 recruiting class -- that could make notable impact this fall in our Aggie Snapshot series. Starting with No. 1 De'Vante Harris, the series will follow the roster numerically through our final analysis of No. 95 Julien Obioha.
From No. 1 De'Vante Harris to No. 95 Julien Obioha, GigEmNation is evaluating the Texas A&M two-deep numerically. View the entire Aggie Snapshot series.
Impact thus far: Matthews has been a fixture on the offensive line since his true freshman season in 2010, when he entered the starting lineup for the final seven games. He has started every game since, was a first-team All-SEC selection last season and also received All-American honors from several publications.
Expectations for 2013: This fall, the 6-foot-5, 305-pound Matthews will be the Aggies' left tackle. Luke Joeckel, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft, previously manned that position while Matthews was at right tackle, but with Joeckel's departure, Matthews moves over to protect quarterback Johnny Manziel's blind side. The expectation are that Matthews will be just as good or better than he was at right tackle a season ago.
Best-case scenario in 2013: If he adapts to the left side quickly -- and he has had all spring and offseason to work on it -- he could be a first-team All-American type player this fall and a postseason awards contender.
Worst-case scenario in 2013: The only potential hiccup could be the caliber of players he is facing. He noted at SEC media days that one of the biggest difference in going from right tackle to left tackle is that he'll be facing many teams' best pass rushers. That won't be easy, but considering Matthews' history, he should transition to the position smoothly.
Future impact: This is Matthews' final season in Aggieland, and it's setting up to be a great one. He's a veteran who has performed well throughout his career and this fall should be no different. A strong season could lead to early selection in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft.