January 6, 2012

Buckeyes offer Fla. linebacker

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As the 2012 recruiting cycle starts to come to a close, the Ohio State football program is still in search for linebackers to fill out the class. On Friday afternoon, the Buckeyes extended another offer at the position to Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast product Joseph Jackson. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound prospect is a North Carolina commit but the Buckeyes have officially thrown their hat into the ring for the athletic outside backer.

"Yes sir, they offered me today," said Jackson. "Everett Withers came down to the school today. He was basically saying that they want me and they want to get an official visit setup for the 20th (of January)."

One thing aiding Ohio State in this recruitment is the presence of Withers as the new co-defensive coordinator.

"Coach Withers is actually the guy that I officially committed to at North Carolina," he explained. "Of course I've spoke with him plenty of times and when I went on my official he seemed like a great guy. He has an articulate way of speaking and he knew his stuff and he knew what he was talking about."

Withers isn't the only assistant coach that Jackson is familiar with as another new member of the Ohio State staff had previously recruited the athletic playmaker.

"When coach (Tim) Hinton was at Notre Dame, he actually recruited me to go to Notre Dame," Jackson said. "He came over to Ohio State so I believe he's still recruiting this area but he sent coach Withers down today."

Though Jackson fully intends to make an official visit to Ohio State, he maintained his status as a committed prospect.

"I'm still committed to North Carolina," he said. "I just want to check Ohio State out. I'm still trying to figure out the exact date but I believe it's something that I want to do."

With some familiarity already with members of the Ohio State staff, Jackson said he is excited to meet Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer.

"He's a winner, no doubt," he said. "He's able to turn programs around and it doesn't take him long either. He makes great decisions on how he coaches and he's won a lot of national championships. I look forward to meeting him."

On the field, Jackson classifies himself as a versatile athlete that thrives in open space.

"I think my versatility," he said. "At my high school I played corner, nickel back, safety, outside and inside linebacker so I really think my strengths are my ability to play in space. I can go out and cover a guy as well as come downhill and make the tackle and hit."

Jackson is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com.


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