#STRecruiting: #Gamecocks baseball commitment now a much sought after football prospect. What that means regarding his USC pledge

Micah Matthews

USC baseball coach Mark Kingston did some early work with OF Micah Matthews (6-2 185) of Bridgewater, VA. He got Matthews’s attention early in the recruiting process, and he committed as a 13-year-old in November of 2020. Three years later, Matthews is still committed, but he’s now a football prospect, and offers in that sport are coming in.

North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Jacksonville State and Liberty are some of the football offers for Matthews, while Penn State, Virginia, Oregon and Auburn are other Power Five programs showing interest. The football option has given Matthews something else to think about when it comes to his current status as a Gamecock baseball commit.

“It’s pretty solid.  I would love to end up at South Carolina.  That’s been kind of a dream school of mine for a while,” Matthews said.  “I grew up in southern North Carolina, so it’s kind of home to me.  I’ve been in touch with the school for so long now, it’s kind of like family now. That would be a big goal of mine to just stay at home there.”

Micah Matthews

Gamecock assistant coach Monte Lee has played a role in keeping Matthews in the fold, sharing with him his experiences as a coach handling football/baseball combo players.

“The baseball team has been cool with it,” Matthews said.  “Coach Lee, we’ve talked about it, and coming from Clemson, he’s had several do that, so he said he could help me manage that and we could figure stuff out with that.  He said he was really cool with it.  Same with Kingston.  They are all really cool about it.  I haven’t really hopped on the phone with South Carolina (football) yet.  I’m going to a game this year, so hopefully that will really start the conversations and get that going.  From what I’ve understood, the baseball team is really fully with it.  They (football) have seen my stuff, and I feel like they are just waiting a little bit to reach out, but I’m just letting it take its time.”

Matthews added that a football offer from USC would be key to him sticking to his commitment. He wants to play both sports in college.

“I’m really interested in playing football,” Matthews said.  “It’s hard to choose between the two.  I’ve loved both of them for so long, so dropping one would be very difficult for me.  I feel like that would be a very long and difficult family decision to flip the decision.  It could happen.  I don’t want it to happen.  That’s worst-case scenario, but life goes on if it does.”

Of course, college may not happen at all for Matthews. There’s always the chance he could be an early pick in the MLB Draft in the summer of 2025, and that might change everything.

“There have been conversations about that.  My agency for baseball is really great at all that stuff and they’ve been pushing my name and helping me out,” Matthews said.  “I just came off a really good year, so I feel like draft stock could start to blow up going into this junior year in baseball.  I feel like it’s definitely a possibility.  If that happens, if I get drafted first two rounds, or first three, the story kind of changes from there.  I’m just trying to control what I can.”

Matthews plans to visit USC September 9th for the Furman game. He plans to visit with the football staff then, and he will also use the weekend as a baseball visit. He also has plans to visit Penn State September 2nd, West Virginia October 21st and Virginia Tech November 18th.

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