After an active June, Ohio State added another defensive back recruit on the first day of July in Jermaine Mathews of Cincinnati Winton Woods.
Mathews became the 16th member of Ohio State’s 2023 class, which moved up to the No. 1 spot in 247Sports Composite national rankings in June with commitments from elite receivers Brandon Inniss, Carnell Tate and Noah Rogers along with cornerbacks Kayin Lee and Calvin Simpson-Hunt.
Mathews is in line to become the third player from Winton Woods to sign with Ohio State since 2017.
The Buckeyes signed defensive lineman Jerron Cage in ‘17 and running back Miyan Williams in 2020.
Mathews is a four-star recruit, the No. 9-ranked player in Ohio and No. 373 nationally.
He picked Ohio State from a final six that also included Penn State, Oklahoma, Jackson State, LSU and Cincinnati.
Mathews is one of six Ohioans in the class and six defensive backs overall.
Four of the former are from the southwest corner of the state: Mathews, Lakota West safety Malik Hartford, Wayne offensive lineman Joshua Padilla and Lakota East offensive lineman Austin Siereveld.
That continues a trend under Ryan Day, who took over as head coach of the Buckeyes in 2019.
Ten of the 25 in-state signees in the 2019-22 classes (40 percent) called Southwest Ohio home, including seven from Cincinnati and two more from Lakota West in the northern suburbs. (The other is Alter star C.J. Hicks.)
In the three years before that, six of Ohio State’s 22 in-state signees (27 percent) were from Cincinnati, Dayton or the surrounding areas.