This is the 17th in a series of articles counting down the most important players for Florida State in 2012. There are 42 days until FSU football, and that's how many are left on the list. That means no off days. Oh, and these are not in any specific order.
Tre' Jackson | 6'4, 328 | Sophomore | Guard
Background (Courtesy school bio)
Versatile big man who was recruited by a number of programs as both a defensive tackle and an offensive lineman...impressive physical specimen who has the frame and skill set that excites the coaching staff...garnered a three-star ranking from Rivals.com as a defensive tackle and carries a No. 60 national position rank...also ranked as the No. 78 overall player in talent-rich Georgia...Scout.com had Jackson rated as a three-star prospect at offensive guard...played his high school football at Wayne County for coach Jody Grooms...was a late bloomer in the recruiting world because he sat out his junior season with an injury...hails from the same school that produced former Seminoles' offensive tackle Tony Yeomans, who was part of FSU's heralded 1985 signing class...originally committed to Georgia Tech back...selected Florida State over Georgia, Alabama, Miami and NC State, though he also had offers from Florida, Rutgers, Middle Tennessee, Georgia Southern and Southern...born December 14, 1992.
There are varying takes on the recruitment of Tre' Jackson. And they're all pretty interesting.
The most consistent details, however, are that Jackson was a very good player. Too good for Georgia Tech. The rest of the country just didn't realize it because he missed his junior year due to a knee injury. When his senior film got out, teams like Alabama, Georgia and Florida State got interested. Some say that Georgia Tech pulled his offer when he decided to make a visit to Tallahassee. Whether that visit was at first supposed to be secret or not is up for some debate, but word of the visit got out after Tech found out.
I anticipated Jackson taking a red-shirt as a freshman. That didn't happen, as Florida State suffered an enormous amount of injuries and actually ended up starting ten different players on the offensive line at different points in the year.
One of those ten was Jackson, in the bowl game against Notre Dame. It came after he apparently suffered a groin injury early in the season.
Jackson played well enough in the bowl game that FSU has him penciled in as a starting offensive guard. But this is a true sophomore with less than 100 snaps under his belt. He will have to fight to keep his job.
I, too, give the edge to Jackson to keep his spot at right guard. He's extremely impressive physically. Jackson needs to work on the finer points of the position, like consistency, awareness and technique. It will also help him a lot of the linemates to his left and right (center and tackle) cut out the musical chairs act.
Jackson isn't necessarily someone who fits well in a zone scheme, but I need to see more from him (92 snaps is not enough) before I say that he can or cannot execute zone blocks at a high level. He certainly has decent athleticism relative to his size. If he didn't, the senior season that impressed the 'Noles, Gators and Tide wouldn't have been possible.