COLUMBUS — As a graduate transfer from Rutgers, a number of questions surrounded Jonah Jackson’s arrival at Ohio State.
What role would he have on the offensive line? What would he bring to the team as a fifth-year senior? How would he adjust to a new program and a new offensive line coach in Greg Studrawa?
Six practices in, and those questions are beginning to find their answers.
Running with the ones at left guard so far in practice, Jackson is on track to play a significant role on the field for Ohio State this season.
Before that happens, however, he is also faced with the task of gelling with a new team and assimilating into a new program. From the looks of it, so far so good on that front.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Jackson was engaging, open, and completely in his element.
And while there was more media surrounding him than he was used to in the past, there have been some familiar elements so far in his time at Ohio State.
When Rutgers head coach Chris Ash left for Rutgers, he brought a lot of what he learned from Urban Meyer with him. He also brought assistant strength and conditioning coach Kenny Parker. Both Ash and Parker incorporated several of Ohio State’s philosophies at Rutgers, which has helped to make his transition a smooth one for Jackson.
“They structure everything sort of similar to Rutgers. The weight room, the academics, and then the football aspect,” Jackson said.
But now on a new team, Jackson has had to figure out his role on the Ohio State offensive line, while still bringing in what he learned from Rutgers.
One thing he knows he can bring that the Buckeyes need is experience.
“Since I’m a fifth-year guy, I feel like I bring a little more veteran aspect to it and knowledge of the game,” he said. “But I mean Coach Stud has all of these dudes greased up ready to go.
“But something I bring… I just bring some energy. Bring energy, I mean, you always gotta give a good vibe. Your energy is a direct reflection of your line. And then some nastiness and some grit. That’s something I like to pride myself on and definitely bring to the table.”
Voted as the only non-senior team captain at Rutgers last season, Jackson also brings experience with leadership. But being an effective leader and still getting acclimated to the team and the program is something that he must balance.
“There’s times where you gotta sit back and let the other guys who have had their due here handle things, but then there’s times you gotta help a young guy out,” Jackson said. “I feel like I’m comfortable enough where I’ve had my leadership role in the past from my former team.”
Five practices into fall camp, and Greg Studrawa likes what he has seen from Jackson.
“He’s a guy that provides leadership without saying a word,” Studrawa said. “Obviously, he’s a new guy and the rest of the guys are getting to know him. But he’s a professional. He does his job and goes hard every play that he’s in there. He’s starting to lead by example.”