2020 John Curtis Christian Patriots Linebacker Matthew Jayne Jr. is proving that size doesn’t determine how good you are on the football field. Your play does.
“Football-wise, the toughest thing I’ve had to overcome was my height. I was never one of the biggest kids on the field, but I never realized it honestly,” he said. “When I play, I feel like I’m 6’5 and no one can stop me. I feel untouchable. I’ve had to prove that to people first.”
He finished the 2018 season with 85 solo tackles, 10 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, and two sacks. The John Curtis Christian Patriots of River Ridge, Louisiana capped off an undefeated 13-0 (6-0 9-5A District) record with a 49-7 state championship win against the Catholic-Baton Rouge Bears. In 2017, they lost the state title game 20-14 to them as well.
“It’s the best feeling I’ve ever felt. Every moment last season was the best honestly. I loved every part of being on this team,” Jayne Jr. said about the championship win.
Matthew Jayne Jr. started playing football when he was six years old. It was all he ever wanted to do growing up. His family has played a huge role in his life because of their motivation and support. God has played a huge role in Jayne Jr.’s life as well as helping him through hard times and always being there in prayer.
“I would have to say, my mom. She is the strongest person I know. Taking care of my sister and I as a single mother can’t be easy, but she does it like there’s nothing to it,” he said about who has had the biggest impact on him.
The 5’10, 210 pound, linebacker from Kenner,
Louisiana realized he could have a future in football the first day he put on
“We did hitting drills and the first kid I went against was much bigger than me, but I put him straight on his butt. I still remember all my coaches going crazy. That’s when I knew and fell in love with the game.”
At the next level academically, Matthew Jayne Jr. would like to study engineering or project management. He doesn’t see himself having an office job after football. He wants to be outside.
“The recruiting process has been a roller coaster honestly. I love when I hear from coaches telling me they want me to play at their school, but I still have no offers as of today. I want to play on the next level and not have my mom worrying about paying for me,” he said.
His recruitment is 100 percent open to any school that wants him. He doesn’t want to limit his options and said he needs to figure out where is the best place for him. He’ll be looking for a place that feels like home.
He plans to make his commitment decision before his senior season so that he can focus on helping the John Curtis Christian Patriots win back-to-back state titles. Check out his junior highlights
On film, he shows solid sideline to sideline speed and he’s patient when going after the ball carrier. When he has the opportunity to take on the ball carrier in the gaps, he takes the challenge head-on and is a sure tackler. His pass coverage skills could use some improvement, however, and if he works on that, he will be able to take his game to a new level.
“I’ve always loved to hit. So all my coaches knew when I was young that linebacker was a perfect fit for me. I see myself as a natural leader, so I like having the leadership role of calling plays and making sure everybody’s doing what they’re supposed to [do],” on what he enjoys most about playing the linebacker position.
Ray Lewis and Sam Mills are NFL linebackers that he studies, and he said that Mills reminds him that it’s possible for a player like him to make it.
“My fearlessness. You can ask anybody I’ve ever played with; I’ve never had a fear of anything or anyone on the field,” he said about what the best part of his game is.
When his time is all said and done at John Curtis Christian High School, Matthew Jayne Jr. will miss the feeling of being a family. He describes his team as a true brotherhood. He wants people to remember the hard work that he put in to get where he’s at now. He doesn’t want any of the coaches to ever forget him.