The rich get richer, as they say, Ohio State has now landed two of the biggest graduate transfers in college football. Jonah Jackson graduate transfer from Rutgers announced his decision on Twitter on February 25th.
— Jonah Jackson (@Jackson77Jonah) February 25, 2019
Jackson joins Justin Fields who will be the Buckeyes starting quarterback and an early Heisman front runner.
Ryan Day and staff have answered another question regarding next season’s football team, offensive line depth. Jackson started 11 games last season for the Scarlet Knights and garnered Honorable Mention All-Big Ten. He was also a team captain and by all accounts seems to be a quality locker room addition. From Media, Pennsylvania, a three-star prospect, Jackson did not receive much big-time Division 1 attention. He visited Rutgers, James Madison, and Monmouth. Since then he has put on thirty pounds and turned himself into one of the most sought after graduate transfers in college football.
More importantly, his skills address an area of concern for the Buckeyes. Ohio State lost both starting guards and center from last season’s squad leaving them with a 900LB hole to fill. It’s likely that Jackson will start right away. Graduate transfer status means Jackson will be eligible to play immediately. He will have to wait until after the spring to join the team. Good grad-transfers only move for two reasons: playing time and a chance at a National Championship. Ohio State can offer both.
The offensive line currently has questions around the center and guard spots. Conveniently, Jackson has experience playing both spots; he started 11 games last season at RG and five games two season ago at center. Josh Myers is expected to start at center and Wyatt Davis is line to start at one of the guard spots. Jackson played right guard last season at Rutgers, but Davis has shown to be comfortable at the RG and I expect him to play there. Transitioning to the left side shouldn’t be too much to ask from someone with Jackson’s experience.
The other likely option would be to move to center, something Ohio State has done with great success. Billy Price made the move and was selected 21st in the 2018 NFL draft. Pat Elflein made the move and was a third round selection in 2017. Last season, Michael Jordan made the move and was an All-American. Jackson may not be the NFL prospect that these three were but given their success, Ohio State will undoubtedly see if center could be the best position for Jackson to play. No matter what the coaching staff will configure the line to give the team the best opportunity win college football games, Jackson gives them another talented piece to fit into the lineup.
To Look Good at Rutgers
We know Jackson can hold his own, All-Big Ten Honorable Mention on a Rutgers team whose only win was against Texas State on September 1st is a pretty incredible feat. Standing out on a team that finished the season on a horrendous 11 game losing streak means you have done something right.