The Virginia Tech Hokies picked up their first commitment in the Justin Fuente era this past weekend when four-star JUCO QB Jerod Evans committed to the Hokies. Evans was a significant recruiting victory with Evans being seen as potentially the best quarterback in his JUCO league since Cam Newton.
However, Fuente and the Hokies have picked up another recruit at the beginning of the month-long recruiting dead period.
Three-star offensive tackle T.J. Jackson of Cumberland High School in Cumberland, Virginia committed to the Virginia Tech Hokies over offers from N.C. State, Norfolk State, and VMI. Jackson became the 16th recruit and 3rd offensive linemen to commit to the Hokies from the Class of 2016.
Jackson has flown under-the-radar among those that cover recruiting nationally so the only insight we have is that the 247 Sports Composite rates him as a 3-star recruit that ranks 114th among offensive tackles and 36th among Virginia recruits.
Jackson has tremendous size for the position at 6'8'' and 320 pounds, which definitely stands out. In watching highlight tape, one of the first things is exposed is the fact that Jackson was not playing against much competition, and was very much a man among boys.
Jackson shows that he has a fair amount of strength in the way that he dominates many smaller defensive players as a run blocker. With his tremendous size and solid strength, Jackson has a huge ceiling but is also very raw as an offensive tackle.
Jackson will need some time to develop especially with his run blocking being most of what he did. Jackson will definitely be a project for OL Coach Vance Vice, and a redshirt seems very likely for him in 2016.
Jackson is a boom or bust addition that could either make Justin Fuente and the Hokies look really good or be one of those commits that was worth the risk, but doesn't work out. However, Fuente and the Hokies did a good job of locking up Jackson with N.C. State and Virginia also interested in the massive offensive tackle.
T.J. Jackson has a lot of potential, but the question remains whether Vance Vice and the Hokies can develop Jackson into a great offensive tackle.