COLUMBUS â€” Ohio State signee Donovan Jackson has officially entered the mix along the offensive line.
The five-star, top-guard prospect in the entire class of 2021 didn’t enroll early due to rules at his high school. But he has arrived on campus at Ohio State now with this month now representing the start of his collegiate career.
But only arriving recently and not having the chance to go through spring practice shouldn’t hold him back. Donovan Jackson is showing up to compete for a starting spot and a chance to climb into the two-deep for the Buckeyes offensive line. He is certainly talented enough to do it.
And although he wasn’t in Columbus for spring practice with the Big Ten’s best program, Jackson has made sure he can hit the ground running when summer drills start.
“He’s been in our meetings through the spring,” Ohio State offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said. “He’s got the manual. He’s gotten things. We’ve talked about drill tapes, and we’ve watched drill tapes.
“Yes, he’s going to have the opportunity to come in there and be one of the five just like anybody else does.”
Jackson isn’t like many other lineman, though. He is a special talent. He possesses a skillset that is hard to teach, which is why he was honored as the Anthony Munoz High School Lineman of the Year by the All-American Bowl Selection Committee.
Ohio State has one of the deepest and most talented offensive line units in the country. Matthew Jones, Harry Miller, Luke Wypler, Josh Fryar and Paris Johnson are all batting for the three starting interior offensive line spots. Jackson will step in and make it a six-man competition as he gets acclimated to life at Ohio State.
â€œIâ€™m going to play my brand of football,â€ Jackson told Lettermen Row. â€œI do understand thereâ€™s going to be a giant learning curve that Iâ€™ll have to get down quickly, because those guys are the best at where they came from.â€
Maybe Jackson will benefit from the logjam along the offensive line and learn for a year. Maybe he can show up and contribute instantly for the Buckeyes, who are consistently in the running for the Joe Moore Award each year.
As he makes himself comfortable with life on the Buckeyes roster this summer, Jackson will try meeting high expectations set by everyone around him — including himself.
“Itâ€™s not going to be high school football anymore,” Jackson said. “Itâ€™s going to be fast-paced, strong Ohio State football. I just want to contribute the best I can.”
Donovan Jackson just arrived this month, but he might be able to contribute in a big way this fall.