One way or another, Jake Matthews was going to wind up following Luke Joeckel.
Either Matthews, who is the son of Hall of Famer Bruce Matthews and a cousin of Packers linebacker Clay Matthews, would follow his fellow Texas A&M offensive tackle’s lead and declare for the NFL draft or he would opt to remain in school to take over for Joeckel as the left tackle in front of Johnny Football. Joe Schad of ESPN.com reports that A&M has confirmed that Matthews has opted for the latter and will remain an Aggie for the 2013 season.
The news isn’t a huge surprise, although most people thought Matthews would go in the first round this season even without the experience of starting on the left side. With Joeckel on hand, Matthews started on the right side and was impressive enough to generate plenty of draft buzz. Staying another year will give him a chance to prove he can handle the marquee position on most offensive lines and, potentially, follow Joeckel on the top of the draft board.
With Michigan’s Taylor Lewan also choosing to return to school, there figures to be a good battle to become that first tackle taken in 2014. Joeckel looks like a lock for those honors in 2013 and there’s been talk he could wind up as the first overall pick when the NFL gathers in New York.