What a long strange trip it’s been for four-star defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson.
A U.S. Army All-American in 2016, Jackson decided to enroll at Auburn over scholarship offers from Ohio State, Florida, and Georgia. Fast forward nearly two years, and the 6’3 305-pounder will don the Scarlet and Gray on the college level after signing his national letter of intent with the Big Ten powerhouse.
After being blocked to transfer to Ohio State and others when he decided to leave Auburn after redshirting his true freshman season, Jackson found his own way to end up in Columbus.
Deciding to take his talents to the junior college ranks at Blinn Community College (TX) to bounce back to the Division I level, the Buckeyes didn’t wait long to offer him a full ride scholarship, which was too much for Jackson to turn down, committing to OSU just weeks later.
One of the top overall recruits on the JUCO market, Jackson is considered the second defensive tackle, and third overall prospect on that level, per the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Showing why some of the top programs in the country were after him, Jackson snatched up 70 total tackles, and nine quarterback sacks in his only year with the Blinn Buccaneers, and was named the most valuable player of the Southwest Junior College Football Conference for his play on the field.
Arriving in Columbus next season with three years of eligibility left, Jackson has a chance to crack Larry Johnson’s rotation along the defensive front in 2018. Although the Buckeyes are expected to return letterwinners such as Dre’Mont Jones, Robert Landers, Jashon Cornell, Davon Hamilton, and others, expect Antwuan and his pass rushing specialties to be pretty hard to keep out of games very early on during his career with Ohio State.
After missing out on Jackson in 2015 when he committed to Auburn over the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer finally got his man. Standing at 6’2, 305 pounds, he’s got a little more size on him than the other two members of the highly-touted defensive tackles, but it also helps that he has two years of collegiate weight room experience under his belt.
Jackson’s quick first-step stands out on tape, which is something that Larry Johnson will most certainly utilize on the interior. He’s an extremely disruptive three-technique who will most likely find his way into a rotation during the 2018 season. The likely return of Dre’Mont Jones (if we trust Nick Bosa) puts another body in front of Jackson, but his collegiate experience gives him a leg up on both Taron Vincent and Tommy Togiai.