Don’t Sleep on DJ Matthews

Historically, True Freshman wide receivers have not made a huge impact on Jimbo Fisher offenses. However, a thin Florida State wide receiver core heading into 2017 may just change that trend. Whether it be through fatigue or injuries, DJ Matthews is going to play this year. And not just in garbage time, either. With only seven scholarship wide receivers entering fall camp, Matthews has a real chance to make an impact in 2017. The Jacksonville native committed to Florida State back in 2014, and will now get a chance to showcase his talents.

If I had to choose one word to describe Matthews, it would be playmaker. Put the ball in his hands and good things happen. He doesn’t just burn opponents with his blistering speed and blazing acceleration, however. Matthews uses his frame so well to make fantastic adjustments to the ball. It’s hard to find a 5’11 receiver that can go up and get the ball like Matthews does. Look at his tremendous body control on this play:

Which brings me to my next point, Matthews makes some unbelievable catches. Using two hands to catch a football is overrated anyways, and Matthews definitely has this mentality. He makes improbable catches look routine and casual. Just watch this one during a 7 on 7:

Matthews may be a jack of all trades, as he’s also absolutely electric in the open field. He loves to dance and toy with defenders, and for good reason: His moves embarrass would-be tacklers. It’s not often you see a wide receiver run the read option as a QB, but that’s exactly what Matthews did in high school. Watch how slippery Matthews can be in the open field:

All in all, Matthews is a fluid route runner with big play ability. His role going into 2017 is unknown, but he has a great shot to get some quality play time. We may not see him play at all in the opener against Alabama, but that’s understandable considering the opponent. I expect him to gradually improve and see more targets as the season wears on. Only time will tell if he can break the freshman wide receiver trend.

Ben Brewton
Writer at Nole Gameday covering football and basketball. FSU alum. Follow me on twitter (@Ben_Brewton) and we can talk sports. On the 8th day, God created college football.

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