Tennessee football, just one day ahead of its appearance at SEC Media Days, picked up a big prospect on the recruiting trail. Five-star wide receiver Mike Matthews announced his commitment to Tennessee on Wednesday night.
Matthews chose the Vols over Clemson, Southern California and Georgia. He becomes one of the highest-rated receivers to ever commit to Tennessee.
Tennessee football had been trending to land the 6-foot-1 and 180-pound receiver for most of his recruitment. He visited Tennessee three times in 2023.
Matthews ranks as a five-star prospect and the No. 13 prospect nationally by 247Sports Composite. Out of Parkview High School in Lilburn, Ga., he is the No. 3 prospect from the state.
While Matthews puts four schools among his top, Clemson and Tennessee emerged as the most likely landing spots for the talented wide receiver. The Vols held the lone crystal ball for Matthews’ talents, with Steve Wiltfong projecting the five-star prospect to Knoxville.
During his junior year, Matthews caught 48 passes for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns on offense. Matthews was apart of a crop of prospect to officially visit Tennessee on June 23, the weekend reserved for Josh Heupel’s top targets.
The Vols’ class currently sits right outside the top 10 on most recruiting services. Matthews’ commitment likely will vault Tennessee’s class into the top 10 of most recruiting rankings.
Matthews joins a 2024 class for the Vols is currently comprised of four-star quarterback Jake Merklinger, four-star athlete Johnathan Echols, four-star cornerback Kaleb Beasley, four-star Peyton Lewis, four-star offensive lineman Max Anderson, four-star offensive lineman William Satterwhite four-star athlete Boo Carter, four-star defensive lineman Kellen Lindstrom, four-star linebacker Jordan Burns four-star athlete Marcus Goree Jr. and three-star defensive linemen Carson Gentle and Jeremais Heard along with three-star offensive linemen Gage Ginther and Jessee Perry and three-star safety Edress Farooq.
247Sports’ director of scouting Andrew Ivens concludes that Matthews has NFL upside.
“A talented two-way athlete that some colleges view as a wide receiver long-term while others think he’s a future all-conference safety,” he writes. “Followed breakout sophomore season up with a monster junior campaign on offense as he averaged 21.5 yards per catch, totaling 1,030 yards and nine touchdowns through the air in the Peach State’s highest-classification.
“At one point reported a basketball offer from Mississippi State, and it’s pretty easy to see why as he’s extremely coordinated in almost everything he does and is always putting himself in position to make a play. Long-speed at point was a bit of a question mark, but tested exceptionally well spring before 12th grade year, clocking one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at a loaded camp outside of Atlanta. Tape also backs up the number as he’s constantly pulling away from defenders and creating separation on deeper routes.
“On the other side of the ball, has flashed the ability to quickly close gaps and get to the catch point while playing more of a center-field role. Must eventually pick a position, but should be viewed as one of the top overall talents in the 2024 cycle given how he moves out on the perimeter. NFL upside if he can keep progressing.”