Help can come from anywhere

Ohio State typically doesn't need any help recruiting top talent, but a key addition to this year's offensive line came from an unlikely source

If you were asked whether Ohio State and Rutgers are in the same league, you might want to carefully consider the semantics before answering.

Sure, OSU and Rutgers are technically in the same league, since they're both members of the Big Ten.

But in the general sense, certainly when it comes to football success, the Buckeyes and Rutgers exist in separate galaxys.

The Scarlet Knights have won 11 games in a single season twice in school history and once since 1977.

OSU has won no fewer than 11 games each of the last seven seasons, and seems destined for that streak to continue this year.

So to say Ohio State and Rutgers are in the same league is sorta true and sorta not true, as will undoubtedly be apparent when the Buckeyes visit Piscataway on Nov. 16.

But as it concerns Jonah Jackson, a Rutgers graduate transfer starting this season for Ohio State at left guard, he's definitely not out of his league playing for the Buckeyes.

“It was Oklahoma and Ohio State,” Jackson said of his choices as a graduate transfer. “Once I got here, I realized everything that goes on in this great program. It was like, ‘This is it. This is home.'

“When I came in, the guys welcomed me with open arms. I had to obviously earn my respect and everything but the guys definitely made me feel as comfortable as possible and welcomed me.”

Jackson earned a job on a line that lost four starters after the Rose Bowl victory over Washington and he was a physical nightmare for Florida Atlantic in OSU's 45-21 victory in the opener.

Film study credited Jackson with 10 knockdowns in the game, justifying what he says was not an easy decision to spend his final season of eligibility at OSU.

“There’s one thing I like to hang my hat on, and that’s being nasty and finishing,” Jackson said.

Mission accomplished there, at least in the eyes of offensive line coach Greg Studrawa.

“You watch that film, all the younger guys are like, ‘Woah, maybe that’s how you’re supposed to do this,’” Studrawa said. “The effect that he had on that room was unbelievable, just in one game.”

OSU coach Ryan Day is looking for more from Jackson and the line Saturday against Cincinnati (noon, ABC-TV).

The Bearcats held UCLA to less than two yards per-rush and just 62 rushing yards overall in a 24-14 win.

"(I) have a lot of respect for Coach Fickell and what he’s built down there," Day said. "I think it’s a very strong program, in great shape. So we know they are going to come in here hungry. Being in the same state, we know that means a lot. We are up for the challenge, but getting ready for it as we get ready for Saturday."

Comments