Florida State Football Season Player Preview 2013: Tre' Jackson

Mike Ehrmann

Well-coached, Tre' Jackson uses his physical skillset - enough to have gotten him high D-1 offers at defensive tackle - to maul opposing defenders.

Florida State football kicks off on Labor day at Pitt. Tomahawk Nation previews the season up until that date by analyzing every key player and issue facing the 2013 Seminoles.

#54 Tre Jackson | Jr. | Right Guard | 6-4 330

Because of an ACL tear his Junior year of high school, Tre' Jackson was lost a bit in the shuffle of recruiting evaluations - ending up a 3* OG/DT. But FSU saw what he had to offer, and the rest is history.

I had this to say when Jackson committed to FSU:
I think he has better upside than analog [Ryan] McMahon (converted 3* DT).

One scout’s take on him: Tools to play either side of the ball, good not great get-off, 1-gap DT, plays low consistently, not great with hands, good motor.

...I love the idea of getting a 3* DT to play interior offensive line. A converted 1-gap DT (6’4", 290) should be considered above-average in agility compared to peer prospects at OG...It will be interesting to see if his good motor translates to the other side of the ball (i.e., finishing off blocks, playing +1 sec after whistle).
I have to say, I agree with myself here. Now in his third year at FSU, Jackson has turned his excellent strength, frame, and motor into a top-performing offensive guard. His athleticism is extensively utilized in Trickett's zone scheme, along with his ability to lock-up and drive defenders.

2012 Highlights (via Seminoles.com)

  • As a true sophomore, he started all 14 games for FSU at right guard.
  • Third on the team with 22 knockdown blocks.
  • Registered 3+ knockdowns in 4 games last year; most notably, 3 against a good Virginia Tech front.
  • Second-highest grade with 84.7% on the season.
Compared to Matias' numbers (31 knockdowns, 79.1%), Jackson may be the better tactician - though his 22 pancakes in 14 games is nothing to sneeze at. The grade given by Rick Trickett and offensive staff is determined by the number of successful blocks, steps, or goals achieved by the lineman divided by the total number of those per game.

His overall numbers - while only a Sophomore - was enough to garner him league-wide respect and an All-ACC preseason selection. Jackson earned 36 votes, which was the second-highest vote total amongst the offensive linemen.

2012 Film Review

Let's look at a sample of plays from the VT game.

This isn't that amazing from a technical standpoint. But it's still fun to watch defenders get pushed down.

Here is a running play where both Jackson & Watson pulled. Jackson just crushes the lurking defender here.

Though the play outcome was garbage, this is an excellent down block that completely takes a very good defensive tackle in #92 Luther Maddy out of the play.

2013 Outlook

Like Matias, Jackson doesn't lack any of the tools, demeanor, and physical ability to be a dominant interior presence this year. And like Matias, Jackson doesn't take plays off. In fact, I haven't seen a lazy offensive lineman under Rick Trickett in a long time - if ever. A high motor appears to be a requirement, not a feature.

Jackson's areas of improvement - again - are similar to Matias': Refined technique. He already finishes off blocks, keeps his feet under him, and is stout in the proverbial phone booth.

In terms of opponents, well...
lighter playmaking DTs like Aaron Donald from Pitt, Dominique Easley from UF, and Nikita Whitlock from Wake - players whom he'll outweigh by [45], [50], and [80] pounds, respectively - will most test his agility.
Jackson is currently ranked the #4 offensive guard for the 2015 draft class, ahead of #5 Alabama's Arie Kouandjio and LG-counterpart #7 Josue Matias. Jackson is a tremendous one-on-one and zone-blocking offensive guard. Combined with his size and power, Jackson is a Top 60 pick come 2015.

Along side Bryan Stork and Josue Matias, Jackson completes one of the best interior college lines for the 2013 football season.
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