Oklahoma Sooner’s Triumph: The Comeback Story of Securing a Four-Star DL, Outshining Football Powerhouses Florida, Miami, Ohio State, and Texas
On the recruiting front, Oklahoma is starting to heat up. Since June 19, the Oklahoma Sooners have added seven players, and on Thursday, four-star nose lineman Jayden Jackson committed to play for Oklahoma.
Jackson already has an outstanding build and provides a size suitable for college. Jackson decided on the Sooners over Miami, Texas, Ohio State, and the Longhorns.
When enrolling students at IMG Academy and starting to build out their board for 2024, Oklahoma made its initial offer to Jackson in March. David Stone, a five-star defensive lineman and a close buddy of Jackson’s at IMG is a top target for the Sooners. Jackson stood out to the Sooners as an attractive defensive line possibility when Stone was being recruited.
Defensive lineman Jayden Jackson, a four-star recruit from Florida’s IMG Academy in Bradenton, has pledged allegiance to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Coach Brent Venables of Oklahoma certainly didn’t expect to hear those words a few months ago. Still, the Sooners made a frantic push on the recruiting path to secure the commitment of the 6-foot-2, 300-pound defensive lineman. At first, Oklahoma wasn’t considered a genuine candidate for Jackson. Up until the end, Oklahoma appeared ahead of Florida, Ohio State, Miami, and Texas.
There has been much discussion over Oklahoma’s alleged lack of readiness to transition to the SEC. The Sooners believed to need more depth to compete in the SEC. That may have been the case before Brent Venables’ arrival, but it is now a tired story that is ending. The Sooners have enrolled some of the best defensive linemen in their previous two recruiting classes.
Jackson has a composite rating of four stars on 247Sports. While his offer list amply proves that elite Power Five teams considered him a valuable player, he may have a low overall ranking.
It’s difficult to ignore his strength, how quickly he moves laterally for a man his stature, and his competitiveness on the field. To build toughness up front, teams should set up for that kind of one-technique defensive tackle in the heart of their defense.
Jackson visited all four institutions on an unofficial basis, and he also paid trips to Florida, Ohio State, Miami, and Texas in late June. After receiving the job offer in March, he had yet to go to Oklahoma, but everything changed once he went to Norman on business.
Jackson said to 247Sports that she almost skipped the trip. They were the last school in my top five that I only visited on a formal basis after I went on all of my official visits.
The Sooner Connection: Jayden Jackson Reveals the Inside Story Behind His Game-Changing Decision to Commit to Oklahoma
“I was prepared to commit within the first 10 minutes of the visit. I was genuinely astounded after speaking with Coach Venables and Coach [Todd] Bates.
Given how the chances seemed before that official visit, Jackson’s pledge to Oklahoma is relatively strong, and the Sooners have had a significant recruiting success. Jackson’s commitment was influenced by Venables’ standing from his time at Clemson. Venables struggled in his first season at Oklahoma, finishing just 6-7, but under Dabo Swinney at Clemson, he was one of, if not the finest, defensive coordinators in college football.
After one transitional season, that sustained success as a defensive coordinator doesn’t just disappear, and it appears like Jackson understands this. Jackson expressed excitement about playing for coaches Venables and Bates. Their standing and background speak for themselves. I’m eager to learn from Coach Venables, who has a strong history as a defensive coordinator.
Jackson is ranked the No. 44 defensive lineman in the 2024 class on the 247Sports composite board. On the defensive side, Oklahoma still needs to be finished. The Sooners still must select Stone, five-star EDGE Williams Nwaneri, four-star prospects Nigel Smith and Danny Okoye, and prospects Nigel Smith and Danny Okoye.
Things are getting hotter for the Sooners and Brent Venables on the recruiting trail, just like the temperature in Oklahoma.