Sometimes, kids just know when a school is right for them. That appears to be the case for 6'4" 288 lb. Penncrest (Media, PA) offensive lineman Jonah Jackson. Accompanied by his parents, Jackson took an unofficial visit to Rutgers Saturday, and received an offer from the Scarlet Knights during the visit. He didn't wait long to accept the offer, committing on the spot. As told to Todderick Hunt:
"It was good, I loved it," said Jackson. "Beautiful campus, everything. They had nice football facilities and good academic advisers."
Rutgers has only been in contact with Jackson for a little over a week, when DB Coach Darrell Wilson visited his school last Thursday, but Rutgers may have had its eye on Jackson for a bit longer, as he was a strong performer at the Rivals camp in Piscataway, as well as the Nike Football Training Camp at the Jets facility in Florham Park. Nothing lights the fuse on a prospect's recruiting process like strong (and consistent) camp performances, so if Jackson keeps up the strong camp showings, his offer sheet may soar.
Jackson is the second offensive lineman in the 2015 class, joining fellow Pennsylvanian Zach Venesky, and the eighth overall commitment. Like Venesky, Jackson projects to the interior of the offensive line (guard or center), although he has played tackle as well in high school.
Jonah's junior highlights are impressive. He is an athletic, big framed finisher, who drives his blocking assignment either out of the frame or to the ground. He has a bit of a nasty streak, like Venesky. Check out the second play in the tape, (at 0:13). Jackson drives his man so far down the field and away from the line that the ref is (humorously) astonished, and cannot look away. Fellow Pennsylvanian Rob Martin was very impressed with Rutgers' latest pickup:
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>S/O to the new lineman commit from PA , he's a baller!! <a href="https://twitter.com/search?q=%23RU&src=hash">#RU</a></p>— *HOT BOY* (@RobMartin_7) <a href="https://twitter.com/RobMartin_7/statuses/467722607614496768">May 17, 2014</a></blockquote>
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To the extent one can draw a line between two data points and call it a trend, it appears new offensive line coach Mitch Browning is looking to recruit athletic, old-school tough guys to play the O-line. Hallelujah, and its about damn time. The success Rutgers has enjoyed over the last few years has come as a result of blue collar, aggressive players on both sides of the line. Rutgers has put a few of those guys into the League over the years. Jackson appears to be in that same blue-collar mold, and pulling in more players like that is a great development.
Welcome to RFamily Jonah!