Wednesday, July 10, 2013
FSU Countdown: No. 18 Tre' Jackson
By David M. Hale
Throughout the summer, Nole Nation will be counting down the 40 players we're projecting to make the biggest impact on the Seminoles' 2013 season, taking into consideration everything from experience to potential to their spot on the current depth chart.
What he's done: Part of Florida State's much-needed youth movement at the close of 2011, Jackson and fellow freshman guard Josue Matias got their first career starts in a win over Notre Dame in the Champs Sports Bowl. The momentum carried over into 2012, where Jackson and Matias became fixtures on the O line, starting all 14 games. Jackson's season grade of 84.7 percent was the second-best among FSU's offensive linemen last season, and he topped the list in six different games, according to FSU's Web site.
Where he's at: Like Matias, Jackson's role is solidified, and short of a serious injury, he'll be Florida State's starting right guard for the second straight season. The bigger question at this point is whether he'll be ready to take the next step from solid performer to potential All-ACC lineman, particularly given the relatively significant question mark with Bobby Hart stepping in alongside Jackson at right tackle.
What's to come: The success FSU enjoyed on the ground last season (third most rushing yards in school history) was due in large part to the progress made by Matias and Jackson, but this season presents a new challenge. Former right tackle Menelik Watson missed 10 quarters of action last season, and when he was out, FSU's pass protection fell apart. With Watson now gone and the enigmatic Hart taking over, major questions linger about how well the right side of the line is prepared to protect freshman QB Jameis Winston. But if 2012 was still a learning experience for Jackson, this season, he'll be the established veteran. As much as it is incumbent upon him to progress in his own production, he'll be leaned on to help mentor and motivate Hart, too.