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  • a lot of Monroe readers watchers.

  • I am Jeremy Birmingham.

  • This is another episode of terminology, and today's guest is 2021.

  • Ohio State Commitment Donovan Jackson Donovan Thank you for taking some time this evening to catch up.

  • It's been but a month and 1/2 now since you announced your almost two months, Two months since you committed to Ohio State.

  • Yeah, How How's life changed?

  • Uh, last thing a lot more quieter, which was I was kind of the goal.

  • But, um, Anglo is doing with just going into the radar, doing what I do best.

  • Getting stronger, faster, more flexible and just gearing up.

  • Somebody come to come on this I could contribute.

  • You know, it's funny, like you're pretty low key guy.

  • Um, and the conversations we've had you can tell that about you.

  • But then I've seen your film, right?

  • And you appear to be less Loki when playing the game or competing.

  • How do you flip that switch from being the guy you are now unassuming, calm, peaceful to the, uh, the guy who doesn't look peaceful on football field.

  • Well, um, on the field, you know, I've been talking many people like you're not gonna get far, but well, if you're not nasty, so just every play.

  • My goal is to move my guy at these 10 years down the field, on the ground.

  • And so if my guys on the ground, But I made a block, see this loss for me and you often.

  • If I get my guy down, go to go be another guy, opens up more opportunities for the quarterback and run back.

  • So I just tried to the best I can on the field.

  • If that means throw my body at four or five people, I'll do it.

  • And off the field, I just carry myself the way my parents taught me to just try to be risk, respectful, humble stuff like that.

  • One of the things that I think really drew your attention from the Ohio State staff was Was that demeanor like, Is that something that you see as as rare amongst your peers anymore?

  • Like the ability to kind of be two different people?

  • Well, I wouldn't say this rare because I feel like anybody, anybody, anybody do it, but I just feel like the drive to do is rare.

  • I'll say that because I I love winning.

  • So if I'll do whatever I can to win, so if if I can, if I have the option to put my guy down and go get another guy, so Rein Back doesn't have to make a move on the second level.

  • So it's just having safety.

  • That's best me in my main goal if I can get the state to this IV bags and right back around for days.

  • But it's just the Nationals, and still to me from a young age is driving to do that.

  • As a sophomore, you were one of two offensive lineman that were under class of 2021 kids selected to the opening finals.

  • You went back there as a junior.

  • You're looking at a potentially, you know, three years of doing that is that is that ability that you have, you know, and the the way that you play the game, Did you ever expect to see all the success?

  • I mean, how did this all come about for you?

  • I mean, I'll be honest.

  • If I like, I'll be lying.

  • If I told you I expected all this, you know, coming into coming out of my way for a year, and I was when I was with, my dad finally sat me down and said like Hey, like you go to college for this and I was kind of you know what?

  • I was looking guy on TV.

  • I know there's a way to big.

  • They were so much bigger than fast forward a couple months coming to my nine year.

  • That's my got mild state.

  • That's what it kind of said it like.

  • Okay, like I like I could do this like they they see it in me.

  • So it's about time I see it.

  • And so going through those camps, it I just had to have that mindset like I could be everyone here.

  • It wasn't much of a cocky mindset.

  • I respected my poem, but it was just like I can't feed you on every rep, right?

  • We go against each other.

  • And so it was just, I believe, that mindset that attractive that could start there.

  • But it's just so During the opening, though, I felt blessed and grateful that experience without a veil in vital out underclassmen.

  • And so I just had to make the best my opportunity going into bigger guys.

  • Classic.

  • 2020 going in from the closet.

  • 2021 guys.

  • But, um, winning most of my reps and obviously a winning EVP Indian was experience I'll never forget.

  • Do you remember that first time that coach stud know how state saw you at camp?

  • I mean, what was their reaction and what was the initial conversation that they have any idea that you had family ties all over Ohio?

  • I mean, how did that was that, like a lightbulb over their head or what?

  • Well, they had no idea about who I was until I told him I was okay.

  • Is that I told him I was from Texas like, Oh, you're from Texas And coming here was showed like a media interest that if you come up from down south until Ohio G have interest.

  • So they didn't offer me at my when I went my videos of the camp, they offered me probably about 33 and two months later, and then that that's my totals again.

  • I know the majority of my family's was Cincinnati and asked Cleveland Oh, really?

  • So that's when they started out.

  • They recruited me a lot more because before they offered me just a base that are really of interest and then told me I must My family's from alive.

  • So I went.

  • They're like, Oh, so that's what Coach died at that point Because my besides Harden yeah, that's a little inside baseball for the people watching and listening.

  • There's a little thing called Return on investment when it comes to recruiting and if if, if you're a player from somewhere far away, it takes a lot more effort for Ohio State to recruit them.

  • But when you have ties to the state into the Midwest, that makes them feel a little bit like more comfortable and going out and putting in the effort.

  • What does it mean for your family?

  • I mean, we've talked about this a little bit in on Letterman robe and stuff, but when you guys really decided or started to narrow it down and saw that hey, Ohio State was not only an option, but a a likely possibility like a likely outcome, was it harder than you thought it would be like?

  • Did you want to find reasons for it not to be Ohio State?

  • I mean, how did you guys deal with that?

  • Well, funny enough, Um, when I released my own state top 12 I was really only talking about five of those schools, and Ohio State was wrong.

  • And so when I visited those five schools over my period, I always thought it was compared to all have Santa.

  • Oh, house has a better.

  • This house is better that I kept finding myself comparing to Ohio State.

  • So finally, like, uh, some of my friends, even my dad was like, If you're comparing 70 days, gets a laugh state like, I think that's where you want to go.

  • And so when I was like Okay, we'll see.

  • But when I visited for the painstaking right, no intention of committing like I would just be like a Gamma come for game, Then it's still go back to Texas, and people are being recruited to go through all that process.

  • But, um, after the game and after the I went to the atmosphere.

  • But after seeing what the house of the brotherhood of the team, the glue they have after sitting down coach stud for some of the day, Um, I'm going back to Sea Coast day.

  • After that, I told my parents of like, Hey, is it cool if I like committal at State?

  • And when I initially told him No, my mom's like, overjoyed.

  • She was raised in Cincinnati.

  • My dad was, My dad told me, was like, You gotta be sure about this like there's no going back on your word as a dad.

  • Like, I'm very sure about this.

  • Like I wanted me about guy.

  • And so um, well, I went back in the coach days office, he asked you is like, Hey, so what?

  • Your what your winter plans like Like where you visiting was?

  • Well, actually, coach, my plan is to commit to a lot of state.

  • And then the He was overjoyed.

  • Costa came running in the room, coffee in hand.

  • It was a fun time that day.

  • How bothered were the recruiting staffers who had to take the photos in the horseshoe when it was pouring down rain after that pen sticking?

  • Because those were those were unique photos.

  • Yeah, they're nice.

  • Uh, I really liked it.

  • The guy who took this was bobbing dog because he's just like a man you really goes that you have agreed to give.

  • I'm just don't try to get out.

  • Leaves like 40 degrees And Cory Green.

  • It's so funny because he at myself, I'm on the field, the entire game shooting photos, and all I want to do is get the hell off of it.

  • Oh, when I put that scarlet and gray on, I didn't take it off, All right?

  • I was I was ready to go, like, right there.

  • Only I won't leave this field that I took her as possible.

  • That night after you were done doing your photos, Jacey lace, um was out there taking his with his brother.

  • How important was the impact of of you and Ben Chrisman and J.

  • C.

  • Latham and Jagger Burton?

  • Interestingly, all you guys being there that weekend together.

  • How has that group maintained?

  • Ah, closeness since then.

  • And do you think that that kind of experience being in a game like that as a group helps lead to like an idea that hey, maybe we can all do this together down the road?

  • Well, we're all still in a constant contact with each other lead.

  • The idea is there, but we're not.

  • I wouldn't say like Ben and I, because I have a great relationship with bones have been our kind of pushing the idea.

  • Hey, let's team up here.

  • It's like it's like, hey, when visiting, like if your business let me see if I come up that day.

  • So just a day together I talked to Tristan a lot at the All American game down in San Antonio.

  • I talked Thio jigger a little bit at the fence, eh?

  • Game.

  • I briefly talk to J.

  • C.

  • For at the Pennsy game, but, um, it's just I believe we're visiting on similar days or close to somebody, but it's beat.

  • The idea is definitely something talking about.

  • I mean, that week after you committed, you told me that your your idea really is to not be the pressure sales guy have been, then maybe a little different, right?

  • Like Ben's a little more over the top with, uh, hey, you know what to do.

  • You know what?

  • They've been looking for him.

  • Yeah.

  • How do you guys balance?

  • I mean, is it like, good cop, bad cop or what?

  • I mean, I'll save Ben's a lot more like, Hey, I look local coach does produce the body starting and you'll go for it.

  • More athletic standpoint.

  • And that now, like kind of the academic part, like, hey, lookit black House, they will do for you down down line in the future.

  • I think with those two methods, I think we're doing pretty good job.

  • Especially especially the Texas guys down here or, um, they're interested in.

  • I'll say I'm definitely a like we We need this bar.

  • We need this position.

  • You're in that position.

  • Look what we can do for you.

  • What is your plan?

  • I mean, from here, obviously, you're committed.

  • There is not visit to be made anywhere else.

  • You're not, um, you know, flirting with other schools.

  • When you getting back to Columbus.

  • What is your plan for enrollment?

  • Um, really, What do you want to change about your game from now till your senior season?

  • Well, my plane is, uh I'm definitely be there for a spring game.

  • April 11.

  • I'm gonna try to be there for ah, camp.

  • It's like we're cursed.

  • That's one more than my official, because I believe will be June 12 14.

  • And, um and, uh, my plan to change between now and oh, Unfortunately, I can't really enroll.

  • That's just want my school.

  • Ryan sees a lot of the private schools have that happening.

  • Yeah, but planning from here until I arrive in Columbus is just steady.

  • Stay flexible.

  • You know, make sure Aiken been stronger, faster, and so just just be in the position where I can come in.

  • They don't have toe changed too much because I'm already at a point where I can contribute.

  • Now it's speaking, being flexible.

  • You, when you're recruiting, like star really started to rise, you were looked at as a tackle.

  • Your position has changed in the national rankings and al year of the number one ranked guard in the country.

  • You play primarily tackle in high school.

  • Still correct, Right?

  • Is that something where you feel like you want to move inside now or is it is Ohio State saying you're definitely going inside?

  • How do you How does that play out for you in the future?

  • Positionally Well, in the future position with my ice would need to be a tackle.

  • So I'm gonna stay there.

  • But for honest date, it's just wherever cushion itself by I trust I trust coach started with everything I have of each other, doesn't mean a play I get behind center and be a party.

  • I'll be a funny but, um, his top one guard.

  • It's definitely two different.

  • I would say a philosophy that I will say, but I've been trained in both, So I'm really confident about tackle and guard.

  • So where he tells him, Play always go put my hand in the dirt are getting a kick step to block the wind.

  • Nine.

  • But I'll do whatever to when you started.

  • T really come to that decision.

  • You were looking at schools like Alabama and Texas A and M Texas, all the big schools in your area around the country.

  • Ultimately, what made the difference for Ohio State?

  • I mean, what was it like?

  • You said you kept comparing everyone to Ohio State.

  • What was the what was the real difference maker?

  • Is that the people?

  • Is that the campus?

  • What was it that really kind of sold you on?

  • A.

  • That is your future.

  • We'll alternate in my recruiting trail.

  • I was saying it really only came down three schools, and so between those three schools, I kept circling things like Well, have state has a better atmosphere.

  • I'll say has, I think, better opportunities from.

  • And then I based it all.

  • Three things.

  • It was the feel of attorney alumni based.

  • Like what?

  • That would be London network, I would say Sure and what I could take away this size football.

  • Because opposite is where everybody make sure my first it's possible.

  • And then, um, just the academics stamp, because most most of my family are on education or my teacher.

  • My aunt's a professor at U G A.

  • And so I have a lot of professors.

  • Family education is very important.

  • Is that what you want?

  • A major?

  • Uh, I wanna measure it Was sports management.

  • Okay, How much conversation have you had with Paris with Luke Weppler with, um, Trey LaRue.

  • Like those three early enrollees.

  • Is there any conversation with those guys?

  • As you start toe, prepare yourself mentally for life beyond high school.

  • Is it too early for that?

  • Also is to If I don't talk to those guys too much, I'm just kind of worried about being a 17 year old now.

  • But once once I hang up my high school pad, so last time, that's what I'll start worrying.

  • Well, okay, Lee, I gotta start getting ready for our House day one of the way they want.

  • Sure.

  • One of one of the perks about committing early is that you can be a 17 year old again, right?

  • What are you doing?

  • What do you What do you doing with your free time Now that you're not stuck with all the recruiting crap?

  • How do you How do you Ah, unlined well with the school and go to Zo.

  • My free time consists of homework, but, um, other than that, you know, it's just, uh I really enjoyed I take joy training working out because I know helping the long run.

  • I don't play too many video games on just sleep.

  • That's basically so you're not coming home on a Friday night and playing call of duty until three in the morning.

  • And, well, I mean, that's probably a good thing.

  • It keeps your mind a little sharp.

  • So, Donovan, do you do any impressions?

  • Uh um, yeah.

  • I'll say I'll say a preview.

  • Who?

  • Give me your best impression.

  • And if it's Greg's to dry, I want to hear it.

  • Okay.