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Jonah Jackson is Ohio State wild card heading into camp

Jonah Jackson-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football
Ohio State will have immediate use for Rutgers graduate transfer Jonah Jackson. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

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Jonah Jackson is Ohio State wild card heading into camp

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During Offensive Line Week, I laid out what I believed would be Ohio State’s starting five offensive linemen when the Buckeyes kick off on Aug 31. That hasn’t changed.

The pre-training camp projection: Thayer Munford at left tackle, Jonah Jackson at left guard, Josh Myers at center, and the right side would include Wyatt Davis and Nicholas Petit-Frere.

The wild card in this lineup is Jackson, an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention guard from a year ago at Rutgers who chose Ohio State over Oklahoma in one of Ryan Day’s first recruiting wins as head coach. The 6-foot-4, 305-pound guard is a mountain, and when he was brought in, he added immediate depth to an offensive line that desperately needed it.

Jackson wasn’t able to go through spring camp with the Buckeyes, leaving an open guard slot for Gavin Cupp to assume reps until Jackson arrived this summer. After spring camp and into summer, especially once Jackson came to Ohio State, the offensive line seems to have solved its depth issues.

Cupp, Joshua Alabi and Branden Bowen could all play big roles on the offensive line this season. Alabi and Bowen have started games for the Buckeyes. But Jackson’s experience in the Big Ten is something that caught Day’s eye early this summer.

“He’s played a lot of football,” Day said. “And I think the guys like him. He’s going to have to learn the offense quickly.”

Day’s tone and statements about Jackson made it seem like the Buckeyes plan to use Jackson in a starting role, and they might do it right away in fall camp.

If he knows the offense.

“The good news for him is there was a year there at Rutgers where they were actually using a lot of our same terminology, so there’s some carry over there for him,” Day said. “I assume he’s going to pick it up pretty quick. He’s smart. He’s sharp. He’s tough, and he’s played a lot of football.”

Munford’s job left tackle has been locked up since he came back from the injury that forced him to miss Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win. Petit-Frere, Davis and Myers garnered attention this spring and earned a crack at a starting spot.

The question as fall camp arrives was about Jackson. But through the summer, Jackson has wowed Day and the staff.

It might not even be up for debate for the transfer guard from Rutgers — Jackson could be the key piece for the Ohio State offense as he helps Munford protect Justin Fields’ blindside.

Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.