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    ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****



    Scouting Report
    A big, nasty dominant grinder who has the ability to step in right away and start for Alabama on the offensive line. Didn't enroll until the summer and by that time, Shank Taylor had a death grip on the right guard position. Not to mention a high ankle sprain that's put Jackson even farther behind. Nonetheless, when healthy, he can be a dominant run blocker, much like DJ Fluker.











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    BigEasyTider's Take
    One of the more unheralded pick-ups of the 2014 class, but a huge addition at a need position. Jackson has a huge frame and carries his 310 pounds almost seamlessly, and he has the very long arms that you would expect with someone who checks in at 6'7. Physically, you couldn't ask for a better build. This is a kid who could realistically play seven or eight years in the NFL.

    Played in a run heavy offense on the JUCO level, so pass work definitely needs refinement, and that will likely keep him at OG in 2014, but he has the ability to play inside or out, and it's feasible to think that he may be our starting right tackle in 2015. Even though he didn't arrive until August, he was a critical signee and looks to be a key cog of the offensive line.

    Big concern here for the time being is not ability, but health and acclimation, and to that end the sprained ankle he suffered in the first scrimmage is going to hurt his cause for a bit. As a result, he might not start from the outset -- I initially had him pegged as the starting RG for the opener against WVU -- but he's going to factor in sooner rather than later, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him in the starting lineup by late September. Unless Leon Brown or Shank really take off at RG, then Jackson is likely to be a starter this season, and he may even end up at LG if Arie Kouandjio's injury and consistency issues persist. Once he gets acclimated and healthy, it's going to be very tough to keep this kid on the bench.
    runtheoption22's Take
    Had he arrived in January, we'd be talking about an All-SEC season. Combined with the ankle injury, we are now talking about him being the 6th OL this season. Can he still get it together and push for a starting job? Sure. He is as good a run blocker as you will see coming out of JUCO. He has the length to play LT, but not the polish in the pass blocking just yet to play there.
    WMack4Bama's Take
    Had some trouble getting the grades taken care of to get in here before he did, which probably put him a little behind. Otherwise, he'd probably have a spot already locked down with the first string offensive line. There may be some questions about his pass protection skills. But his run blocking is a resounding positive. Like many of the other linemen in this class, he plays with a very physical and nasty streak. As it is, he may just wind up giving us some superior depth along the line, but if someone on the first unit right now went down, he could fill in at at least 4 spots and we wouldn't miss a beat.
    Last edited by BigEasyTider; August 14th, 2014 at 11:07 AM.
    "I didn't come to Alabama to win 10 games a year and be a contender. I came here to win championships. Conference championships and national championships. I love it here because that's just not what I want, but what this fanbase expects."
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  3. #2
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    runtheoption22's Take
    Had he arrived in January, we'd be talking about an All-SEC season. Combined with the ankle injury, we are now talking about him being the 6th OL this season. Can he still get it together and push for a starting job? Sure. He is as good a run blocker as you will see coming out of JUCO. He has the length to play LT, but not the polish in the pass blocking just yet to play there.


    Not knocking what you say . . . It seems wierd that a true freshman [C Rob.] might be more polished in pass protection than someone who has two years more experience, even if it is at Junior College. Hoping for the best but admitting to being a bit concerned about left tackle on the O-line.

    Thanks again to all involved for this series of previews.
    Last edited by bama579; August 14th, 2014 at 10:25 AM. Reason: italics for quote

  4. #3
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Is he ranked this high based on his filling a need, or is he really the 8th best player in the class? I'm guessing it's the former.

    I was real high on him coming out of JUCO. IMO he has Fluker written all over him. Just loves to hit people. I was hoping he'd win a starting job because he could infect the other guys with his enthusiasm for pancakes. But it doesn't sound like there's a leadership problem right now and the right side has been drawing rave reviews. I thought he might push Cam but it appears his pass blocking skills aren't as good as I'd hoped they'd be. One thing is fore sure: depth is not gonna be a problem on the OL.

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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by bama579 View Post
    runtheoption22's Take
    Had he arrived in January, we'd be talking about an All-SEC season. Combined with the ankle injury, we are now talking about him being the 6th OL this season. Can he still get it together and push for a starting job? Sure. He is as good a run blocker as you will see coming out of JUCO. He has the length to play LT, but not the polish in the pass blocking just yet to play there.


    Not knocking what you say . . . It seems wierd that a true freshman [C Rob.] might be more polished in pass protection than someone who has two years more experience, even if it is at Junior College. Hoping for the best but admitting to being a bit concerned about left tackle on the O-line.

    Thanks again to all involved for this series of previews.
    We have other guys, more experienced guys, who could play that position, including Dom. CNS put Cam in that spot almost immediately. He wouldn't have done that if he didn't believe Cam could get it done as a freshman. And he's said he's pleased with his progress and doesn't seemed concerned with that position.

  6. #5
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchThatThang View Post
    Is he ranked this high based on his filling a need, or is he really the 8th best player in the class? I'm guessing it's the former.
    It's both, really. Obviously he fulfills a big need on the offensive line -- or at least a perceived need, though that could be mitigated if Kouandjio, Brown, Shank, and Shepherd all stay healthy and play well in 2014 -- but this isn't just a need-based signing. Again, he couldn't have a more ideal physical build for a multi-dimensional offensive lineman, he's nasty in the run game, he's got the length and frame to eventually become a strong pass protector, and he can play four spots on the line.

    Like I said above, he is a guy who could feasibly play a very long time in the NFL. With that, it's hard to say that he's a signee highly-rated merely because of need.

  7. #6
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by bama579 View Post
    Not knocking what you say . . . It seems wierd that a true freshman [C Rob.] might be more polished in pass protection than someone who has two years more experience, even if it is at Junior College. Hoping for the best but admitting to being a bit concerned about left tackle on the O-line.
    Couple of things on that front:

    (1) Jackson played in a Wing-T offense on the JUCO level, so he was asked to pass block about once per week. Not saying he can't do it from a physical perspective, but obviously you're going to need refinement with that background.

    (2) Robinson isn't exactly your ordinary true freshman, based both on overall ability -- he's a kid with legitimate All-American/Outland Trophy/top 10 NFL Draft potential -- and the fact that he arrived early and went through spring ball and the summer workout sessions. In that sense, Robinson is in a lot of ways closer to a returning sophomore than he is an incoming true freshman, so keep that in mind. None of it is to say that we don't have some concerns at LT, and I'm sure Robinson will struggle at times in that role this season, but in terms of polish it's not really out of the ordinary for the Wing-T JUCO kid to have further to go than a true freshman who has been on campus for almost nine months.

  8. #7
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Does Jackson have 3 years to play 2?

    If it takes a bit for the ankle to get healed, why not RS him? If he needs work in pass pro, he likely isn't one and done, plus we have a quality verstaile OL for 6th man in Grant Hill or Leon Brown/Taylor (and potentially Ross P.).

    We don't have anyone besides Hill on campus that looks like a legit contender for the RT spot in 2015 (not counting true fresh), so DJ could be the guys at RT for 2 years. Not sure if he would be pleased with the RS, but if it's a high ankle sprain, that takes a few weeks to get back to speed; and that's a few weeks of practice missed to get acclimated to our O/ pass pro.

  9. #8
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by jps1983 View Post
    Does Jackson have 3 years to play 2?

    If it takes a bit for the ankle to get healed, why not RS him? If he needs work in pass pro, he likely isn't one and done, plus we have a quality verstaile OL for 6th man in Grant Hill or Leon Brown/Taylor (and potentially Ross P.).

    We don't have anyone besides Hill on campus that looks like a legit contender for the RT spot in 2015 (not counting true fresh), so DJ could be the guys at RT for 2 years. Not sure if he would be pleased with the RS, but if it's a high ankle sprain, that takes a few weeks to get back to speed; and that's a few weeks of practice missed to get acclimated to our O/ pass pro.
    Jackson has three years to play two, but redshirting him isn't going to happen. The ankle injury isn't good, but it occurred three weeks before the opener, so he'll have time to heal and be relatively healthy by the end of September, even if the healing process is slow. No use not utilizing the guy for eight or nine games in that scenario.

    Besides, if Jackson plays as well as anticipated by many, he's not going to be around for his fifth year anyway...

  10. #9
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by BigEasyTider View Post
    Jackson has three years to play two, but redshirting him isn't going to happen. The ankle injury isn't good, but it occurred three weeks before the opener, so he'll have time to heal and be relatively healthy by the end of September, even if the healing process is slow. No use not utilizing the guy for eight or nine games in that scenario.

    Besides, if Jackson plays as well as anticipated by many, he's not going to be around for his fifth year anyway...
    Do you think he'll earn a starting spot or ride the bench? If he doesn't make the starting lineup, I see no reason not to redshirt him.

  11. #10
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchThatThang View Post
    Do you think he'll earn a starting spot or ride the bench? If he doesn't make the starting lineup, I see no reason not to redshirt him.
    To me, it's like the AJ/GMac situation in '09. AJ was known to be the backup should GMac get any substantial injury. Everyone knew AJ was the 2nd best QB on the roster and he was available if needed.

    Jackson is supremely talented, but as the mods indicate, not well-polished in pass blocking. Barring injury or poor play by the starting 5 (whether it's Shank or Leon B. at RG), I'd rather see him RS then play mop-up duty if there's any chance that he would come back for his 5th season. Granted, it seems like an unlikely situation, but I'd rather he go pro as a RS Junior (like DJ), then use him in meaningless game situations and not have the option for that 5th year.

  12. #11
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    A versatile OL is not the same as a backup skilled-position player. You are more likely to need a rotational guy to plug gaps when someone tweaks an ankle/knee and if you have one guy who could plug any of 4 gaps... you play him. I wouldn't want to risk a national title run this year simply because we could squeeze a redshirt out of him if absolutely nothing goes wrong all year with our OL. He's playing this year unless that injury is worse than it appears.
    Last edited by DocCrimson; August 15th, 2014 at 01:53 PM.

  13. #12
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchThatThang View Post
    Do you think he'll earn a starting spot or ride the bench? If he doesn't make the starting lineup, I see no reason not to redshirt him.
    With the camp Taylor is having and the return of Brown and him missing time due to injury I don't think he starts, but he will be 2nd team at some position and will not redshirt.

  14. #13
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    Re: ****2014 Crown Jewel Countdown: #8 - OL, Dominick Jackson****

    Quote Originally Posted by TouchThatThang View Post
    Do you think he'll earn a starting spot or ride the bench? If he doesn't make the starting lineup, I see no reason not to redshirt him.
    I don't think he'll "ride the bench" and at absolute worst he's a sixth OL who will be called into action should anyone at either OT or OG goes down (or struggles), which is a very valuable role it and of itself.

    Again, starting job or not (and he still may get there this season, mind you), Jackson just isn't redshirting barring a very serious injury in the next couple of weeks. You don't sign JUCO kids at need positions just to bring them in and redshirt. End of discussion.
    Last edited by BigEasyTider; August 15th, 2014 at 03:41 PM.

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