[This is the 11th in a series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the 2018 signing class and the impact they had this past season, as well as the impact they could have this coming season.]
Matthew Jones came to Ohio State from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, New York. This is the same school that sent Curtis Samuel to Ohio State as well. Jones signed with OSU over offers from Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Florida, Penn State, Michigan, and dozens of others. He was ranked the No. 1 center in the nation and the No. 68 player in the 2018 class overall. At one point, he was also ranked the No. 3 defensive tackle in the nation.
Matthew Jones enrolled early, which allowed him to get acclimated in the weight room and on the practice field.
With an expected future at center, Jones was at the back end of the depth chart in the spring while the Buckeyes looked for a replacement for Billy Price.
Fifth-year senior Brady Taylor, redshirt freshman Josh Myers, and fourth-year junior Matthew Burrell were all taking reps in the spring. Jones got some snaps here and there, but also did a lot of snapping work on his own.
After spring ball, Burrell transferred, Taylor could never get healthy enough to play, and Myers was still a bit too raw to be given the job. All-American guard Michael Jordan was moved over in the summer and won the job.
Jones did not see any game action in 2018 and redshirted.
So Now What
Ohio State must replace all three starters on the interior of the offensive line and if Matthew Jones is one of the best five linemen, he could very well end up at guard for the Buckeyes.
Josh Myers will enter spring as the No. 1 center, and Ohio State will need a backup for him. That could be Jones, but he will also have an opportunity to win the starting job in spring and/or fall camp.
Jones will almost certainly be at center this spring because the Buckeyes don’t appear to have any other logical scholarship options there. Five-star center Harry Miller will arrive in the summer, so offensive line coach Greg Studrawa could be okay with moving Jones around if there is good reason to do so.
It is standard practice for linemen to get work at multiple positions, so Jones will be able to showcase everything he can do this spring and make his best case for playing time somewhere.
There could also be a graduate transfer or two enter the picture, but not likely before spring ball.