One of the top prospects in junior class is Elkins offensive lineman Jake Matthews. The 6-4.5, 275…
Coach's Corner: Jake Matthews
"The main thing with Jake is that he is such a hard worker. He commits a lot of time into this sport and he knows the kind of work it takes to get to the top. He also obviously comes from a good bloodline, and that helps too with his work ethic. He's a smart kid as well; a great student. He's an A-B type kid, never gets into trouble, and is just the kind of guy you like to have on your football team."
Offensive linemen can stand out in a variety of different ways. What are the things Jake does that separate him from his peers?
"Well he has great technique. Pretty much perfect, in fact. He has great hands, excellent feet, and is just special all-around. Also another thing is for a big guy – I believe he's now 6'5" 285 – is that he is so athletic. In fact as a freshman he was our starting quarterback on freshman A team, and he won 9 games for us. Of course after that he started growing more and we needed to move him to the line, but he can still move like he did back then."
What advantages does Jake have coming from a family with such a successful past in football?
"I would say mainly it's the extra work he knows how to put in to get the things accomplished that he needs to accomplish. With his father, Bruce being right here, and then his brothers from A&M, they know how to work and all make sure everyone is getting their workouts done. They turn the summers into a family thing where they train together, and it really helps Jake to not only do the work but to see it pay off with his brothers."
Does it help him any with the mental side of his game?
"It does, of course. You can tell with all the kids, as we've had several, who have had parents who were either a big player or a football coach themselves, that they are more aware of things both in practice and in the game, and Jake is just like that. He's very football savvy, and you can tell he's been surrounded by it all of his life. He rarely makes mistakes, which is also due to his incredible work ethic."
What is the main thing Jake needs to improve on for the next level?
"Actually I really can't think of a specific area that he is lacking at the moment. That is really his best strength, is how complete of a player he is, he is already so polished that it is tough to critique him. I can say that he is the best and most polished lineman I have ever coached in twenty years, and I've seen some good ones. It's not that he's not improving, each year I've seen him get better and more aggressive as his confidence has improved, like all kids this age do, but there isn't something he really struggles at. I'd expect him to continue to get better, but right now we're just thankful that we have him and our opponents don't."
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