Two years ago, in the midst of the 2016 recruiting class, the only real complaint Ohio State fans had about Urban Meyer’s tenure at Columbus on the recruiting trail was a lack of big time defensive tackles.
While the complaint was generally silly, and nit-picking at best, it was amplified when the Buckeyes struck out on their biggest targets in the class, with the top priority being Ellenwood, Georgia product Antwuan Jackson. After nearly a year of hard recruitment, Jackson picked Auburn over the Buckeyes, effectively ending his recruitment.
However, after a difficult freshman season at Auburn, and a number of schematic issues, Jackson announced his intentions to transfer from his original choice, to Blinn, a junior college in Texas, and the former home of current Buckeye cornerback Kendall Sheffield.
Despite the time lost, Ohio State was still very intrigued by the talented big man, and on August 29th, Urban Meyer extended an offer to Jackson, three years after the original offer. It didn’t take very long for Jackson to jump on that, as now, just two weeks later, Jackson has joined Ohio State’s 2018 recruiting class.
Jackson, once considered to be one of the best defensive tackles in the nation, was a top 60 player in 2016, and will likely be one of the top JUCO players in the country when 247sports updates their JUCO rankings.
Jackson is the 18th commitment in Ohio State’s 2018 class, and the second game changing defensive tackle, along with IMG product and five-star Taron Vincent. The two compliment each other very well, as Vincent’s technical skill and Jackson’s rare combination of size, strength and athleticism will strike fear into defensive coordinators for years to come.
Jackson may very well be a candidate to start as soon as he steps on campus, much like Sheffield was. He’s already spent time in a college weight room, and once he starts to learn from coach Larry Johnson it’s hard to imagine him being kept off the field.
Because he isn’t yet ranked, Jackson’s commitment doesn’t extend Ohio State’s lead in the 247 team rankings over Texas, but once he does get his new ranking it’s hard to imagine that he won’t be one of the top players in Ohio State’s excellent class.
Want to know more about Jackson’s contributions to the defense and in the class? Land-Grant Holy Land’s recruiting team will have much more on Jackson’s commitment shortly.