Lakeland High School continues to be a popular destination for college recruiters.
The six-time Florida high school state champions have sent a fair share of players on to the next level. These days, the most popular attractions are 4-star WR James Robinson, 4-star RB A.J. Davis and 3-star CB Damarri Mathis, all of whom are 2017 prospects.
“Last spring, everyone came through to see James and A.J. This spring, everyone kind of came to see Damarri,” said wide receivers coach Will Bahler.
“(Mathis) had 13-14 mid-major offers. And Power Five — nobody wants to be the first one,” Bahler said. “He had a lot (of) — this spring — schools coming to see him, but nobody wanted to be first.”
Robinson, the No. 6 wide receiver in the country, is a believer in Mathis, who committed to South Carolina last Friday.
“He has good coverage and his speed to help when he gets beat, I mean he reminds me of Mackensie Alexander with his ability to play man (coverage),” Robinson said. “He has great potential.”
Robinson added, “He’s an athlete great teammate and he has a great frame and size for the SEC.”
In the weight room, Mathis is “an absolute freak,” with a 290-pound power-clean.
“There’s no corner at South Carolina right now that’s power-cleaning 290 and this kid’s a high school junior,” Bahler said.
The Gamecocks offered Mathis earlier this month, after a strong performance at the Will Muschamp Football Camp. Pittsburgh and Ole Miss soon followed.
“I think, starting this fall, his offer list is going to double, but he seems pretty confident at South Carolina,” Bahler said. “If you’re a corner, why would you not want to play for (Travaris Robinson) and Muschamp? Obviously, it’s the SEC also.”
At The Opening event in Orlando earlier this year, Mathis was measured at 5-foot-10.5, 176 pounds. His 40-time was clocked at 4.69. In the vertical, he jumped over 40 inches.
“He came into Lakeland as a running back. He’s cousins with A.J. and realized that A.J. was going to be the man, so he’s only been playing corner for three years,” Bahler said. “He just keeps getting better and better. He’s physical. He doesn’t mind tackling. Coverage, we just play man and let him get his long arms on you. He’s definitely a steal.”