One of the top-ranked playmakers in the 2017 recruiting cycle has settled on a new school.
Former Florida State receiver D.J. Matthews announced Thursday that he will transfer to IU, giving the Hoosiers a dash of speed on offense and special teams. Matthews is a former consensus four-star prospect who earned U.S. Army All-American honors as a high school senior. The Jacksonville native was ranked among the nation’s top 10 receivers as a prep star, slotting at No. 5 in the Rivals rankings, No. 6 in the 247 Sports database and No. 7 at ESPN.
In Tallahassee, the 5-foot-10 Matthews did his best work on punt returns. He entered the 2020 season at No. 10 in program history with 582 punt return yards on 56 returns. He also recorded two of the top four single-game punt return yardage totals in Seminoles history.
On offense, Matthews’ production fell short of expectations. He picked up 807 yards and five touchdowns over three seasons. Here’s how our neighbors at Tomahawk Nation broke down Matthews’ game earlier this year:
There are times where Matthews looks like the most exciting player on the field. Then he will subsequently disappear. Part of the inconsistency can be attributed to the wack-a-mole rotation at quarterback, but there is often a distinct lack of focus translating from the practice field to game days.
As a route runner, as an athlete, and as a pure football player, DJ Matthews is too good to not produce more. ... As a punt returner, DJ looked like one of the best returners in the country for two seasons before a dip in his production last year. I would attribute this to the decline of the roster around him, but I expect an uptick in that regard. FSU will have good special teams again and DJ will be a big part of that.
It is believed that Matthews, a senior, will be eligible to play his final season at IU next fall.