Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Ian Mathews has entered the transfer portal.
The former 3-star recruit from Pacelli Catholic high school in Columbus, GA had transferred to Missouri just last year after previously redshirting at Auburn.
This is a strange one on multiple fronts. First, as just stated, Mathews had already transferred once and, thus, used his one “free” transfer which allows him to leave a school for another at the same level and play immediately. Because he is not a graduate student, transferring again at this time means that he must sit out a year. Given that he’s already used his redshirt season in 2021, he will have to spend one of his three remaining years of eligibility once again not seeing the field and sitting out the season (assuming he transfers to another FBS school).
Second...bro you were so close here. As a defensive tackle-sized gentlemen, yes, he would have been stuck behind Kristian Williams, Josh Landry, Jayden Jernigan, Realus George, Darius Robinson, and (potentially) Marquis Gracial and Jalen Marshall in ‘23, I get that part. But three of those dudes are for sure gone next year, and another two could leave as well, clearing the way for Mathews to be an experienced starting piece in ‘24. I get that sitting out a year at another school could very well be the same as “waiting your turn” here, but I would think that getting another year in the system and being cleared to start for an excellent SEC defense would be worth the wait.
I’m also not Ian Mathews. And I don’t know if there’s a better starting/NIL opportunity elsewhere. And, frankly, it’s none of my business.
Best of luck to Ian! Go secure the bag and some playing time!