AU Makes Big Impression On Big Tackle

This highly regarded defensive lineman discusses his official visit to Auburn.

Opelika, Ala.--The state's top defensive tackle prospect says he had a wonderful official visit to Auburn.

Tommy "T.J." Jackson was one of 19 prospects on the Auburn campus this weekend for an official visit. The 6-2, 290-pounder had back-to-back dominating seasons at Opelika High School. Now he is turning his focus toward college.

"I had a whole lot of fun on my official visit," Jackson told Inside the Auburn Tigers. "My player host was DeMarco McNeil. I enjoyed every minute of it, as a matter of fact. I also spent time with Dontarrious Thomas and Ronnie Brown."

Originally scheduled to visit LSU next weekend, that isn't going to happen. He and fellow Opelika High star, quarterback Will Herring, plan to announce their college choice at a 2:30 p.m. press conference on Tuesday at their school. Last year at an OHS press conference, the Tigers got good news from linebacker Lemarcus Rowell that he was headed to Auburn. The Tigers look to have a good shot to land one or both of the OHS stars this year. Herring was also on campus at AU for an official visit.

Jackson has been recruited by colleges across the Southeast, but has taken official visits to only three. The first weekend in January he was at Georgia Tech. He took an official visit to Alabama last weekend.

Jackson says he is very aware that Auburn is looking for help on the defensive front. "When I come to college I am going to work my butt off and try my best to impress the coaches and help the team. I want to let them know that I want to win as much as they do. I want a national championship.

T.J. Jackson is shown in action as a senior for the Opelika Bulldogs. (Tommy) Tuberville is that he said they are planning to win the national championship in a few years they are. I am telling you, that is all right with me."

Jackson, who plans to major in finance and business, says he enjoyed meeting with AU academic advisers in that field. "It was good and that made me feel right at home," he says.

Tiger Ticket Extra: Jackson should be in good shape academically and shouldn't have the NCAA Clearinghouse troubles that sidelined his former teammate, Lemarcus Rowell, last season. Jackson says he is in an advanced placement program at Opelika High...Commenting on Auburn, Jackson says, "Well, I do like the coaches at Auburn--Coach (Tommy) Tuberville and Coach (Joe Whitt). Actually, I love the whole coaching staff. Coach (Don, defensive tackles) Dunn and Coach (Terry, defensive ends) Price are real good, too. Everytime I see them I feel real welcome."...Jackson, who has started on offense for three years, has been a two-way starter the past two seasons at defensive tackle. He is one of the strongest high school players around. He benches 385 pounds and uses that strength to manhandle opponents. He runs a 4.9 40, but more importantly he is extremely quick. He will remind Auburn fans of a healthy and taller version of defensive tackle DeMarco McNeil. At the Capital City Combine in Montgomery last year, he was exceptional in agility drills...Jackson had 21 tackles in a game this past season against region rival Central of Phenix City.

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