COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football has been pretty good when it comes to second chances in recruiting. The Buckeyes landed acclaimed JUCO defensive tackle Antwuan Jackson on Tuesday after previously finishing second to Auburn for his initial commitment out of high school.
— ⭐️Antwuan Jackson⭐️ (@Hercules__52) September 12, 2017
Jackson decided after a year to move on from Auburn, but the Tigers blocked him from transferring to Ohio State. Rather than go somewhere that wasn’t a preferred destination, he headed to Blinn (Texas) College for a year so that he’d be free to sign anywhere and play immediately in 2018. In February, Ohio State pulled off a similar feat at Blinn when it signed former 5-star cornerback Kendall Sheffield who originally chose Alabama over the Buckeyes.
The relationship Jackson has with Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson has always been a major part of his Ohio State interest.
“He is the one that really came after me hard in my junior year of high school,” Jackson told Land of 10 on Tuesday. “I always felt awesome with him and talking with him. We had a great connection.”
The Buckeyes offered Jackson on August 29, and that decision seemed to catapult them back to the top of his list of potential schools.
“I’m so blessed to have a second chance from an awesome school,” Jackson told Land of 10. “People don’t get second chances like this in life. I’ve prayed hard and am thankful for this offer.”
— Matt Trent (@MCTrent23) September 7, 2017
His commitment caps off a frustrating aspect of his recruitment, since he would have preferred to enroll at Ohio State this year and spend a year practicing with the Buckeyes before becoming eligible to play. Auburn customarily blocks players from transferring to another SEC school or a school on the Tigers’ schedule, but it also added in one other school to that list — Ohio State.
“My question was: Why are they blocking Ohio State for no reason?” Jackson told The State in June. “They just put Ohio State on there for no reason. My question to them is why are they blocking me from a Big Ten school when they don’t have anything to do with Big Ten schools?
“Why didn’t they block me from Michigan or Indiana or any other Big Ten school? Why would they do that immediately?”
In the end, it was an obstacle that Jackson was able to overcome.
Jackson is the 18th commitment in Ohio State’s top-ranked 2018 recruiting class. He’s the second defensive tackle in the class, joining 5-star prospect Taron Vincent.