COLUMBUS — With a family past rooted inside of Ohio’s borders, it was easy for Bellaire (Texas) Episcopal 4-star offensive lineman Donovan Jackson to feel at home when he made visits to Ohio State.
Now, after issuing a college commitment on Wednesday, Jackson’s family roots and his future plans are intersecting in Columbus: He’s decided to join the Buckeyes.
The decision from Jackson came into sharper focus on the heels of a week-long trip in late November that saw him take in his first game-day visit to the Horseshoe for the huge matchup against Penn State, which he followed by spending Thanksgiving with his family in Cincinnati.
Though he’s grown up outside of Houston, it’s Ohio State and Columbus that will serve as the future home for Jackson.
Now that he’s pledged as a member of the 2021 recruiting class, what does that mean for Ohio State?
Lettermen Row has all the angles covered on the big-time offensive line prospect and what his commitment means to the Buckeyes, the Big Ten and more.
What Donovan Jackson gives Ohio State on the field
The secret to success at Ohio State is a strong offensive line, and the addition of Jackson provides another big, athletic, aggressive talent for Ryan Day and Greg Studrawa to develop as the program aims to continue the dominance it’s shown in the trenches over the last few seasons.
Jackson is the prototypical guard prospect. He plays with a nasty streak and is athletic enough to be a key factor whether the offensive line is blocking downhill, pulling their interior lineman or pass protecting.
A complete player who can play at tackle if needed, Jackson has long arms and quick feet, though he can occasionally be a little heavy-footed. He has an above-average combination of talents for his age, and that usually leads to great success at the next level — even though his current offense requires much more run blocking than pass-pro.
Coaches all around the country are seeking offensive linemen who will finish a play and go whistle-to-whistle. That’s Jackson in a nutshell. He’s an excellent player right now and has an All-American type of upside by the time his college career is finished.
What pickup means for Ohio State 2021 recruiting class
The ninth commitment in the Class of 2021 at Ohio State, Donovan Jackson is a big one.
For Day and Studrawa to head into Texas and land that state’s seventh-best junior prospect is significant. Taking him away from Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma and more than 30 other schools that had already offered him is a major accomplishment this early in the recruiting cycle.
Studrawa has played a major role in the recruitment of Jackson, and bringing him in this early as a complement to 4-star tackle Ben Christman is a big win for the Buckeyes. Now Jackson and Christman can eagerly turn their focus to filling out the rest of the offensive line group as peer recruiters, and they can do that with an eye towards finishing that position very early in the Class of 2021. Key targets like Florida’s J.C. Latham, Kentucky’s Jager Burton, Virginia’s Tristan Leigh and the Michigan duo of Rocco Spindler and Garrett Dellinger will get a lot of attention from the 2021 Ohio State verbals in the next few months.
The addition of Jackson grows the Ohio State lead on Notre Dame as the No. 1-ranked 2021 recruiting class at the moment. With Jackson committed, the Buckeyes now have seven committed players ranked inside the top-125 junior prospects in the country, according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings.
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