Jackson Carman: Decision looms for nation's No. 1 offensive tackle
|Wednesday, July 5, 2017, 8:27 AM- -|
BEAVERTON, OR – Jackson Carman has a decision to make a few days before July 21st. Until then, however, the nation’s number one offensive tackle is going to enjoy thinking about the things he learned, the fun he had and the people he met at Nike’s The Opening over the last week.
The 5-star Clemson target out of Fairfield (OH) is being chased by the nation’s top programs, but two have stood out to Carman during the recruiting process – the home state Ohio St. Buckeyes and the defending national champion Tigers.
July 21st is a big day for both programs – the Buckeyes’s Friday Night Lights Camp is their annual summer showcase recruiting event, while Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and his coaching staff will entertain their commits and final recruiting targets at the All In Cookout.
Where will Carman be that day? In Columbus with the Buckeyes or at Clemson with the Tigers? He doesn’t know yet, but knows the answer might shed some light on his recruitment.
“I really don’t know yet. It’s all up in the air,” Carman told TigerNet this week. “I am going to go home and really think about it. I guess I will cross that bridge when I come to it and I’ll show up somewhere.”
In the meantime, Carman will sit back and think about his week in Oregon at Nike’s signature event.
“It was an amazing experience. I learned a lot, especially from (Redskins offensive lineman) Trent Williams,” Jackson said. “There are things that he said that made so much sense, and it was like turning on a lightbulb. It really helped me out in the final five. When I first got here, they made me change my feet and my set with my feet in the ground. Coach Trent came and he helped me adjust my stance to where I was more comfortable. I wasn't getting my foot set in the ground, and that really helped.”
He also got to meet several of the nation’s top recruits, including Clemson commits Xavier Thomas and Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was more understated in his pitch to Carman while Thomas let him know that Clemson should be the place he calls home.
“It was great to see everybody here. You see them on Twitter and try to guess their personalities but everybody here was a good guy,” Carman said. “This has been great. XT (Thomas), he tells me to come to Clemson and all. Just the usual rah-rah.”
Carman says he doesn’t have a leader right now, but admits that Ohio St. and Clemson are two of his top choices and says that offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell is one of the reasons why Clemson has staying power.
“Obviously, they are the schools I am looking at the most,” he said. “I wouldn't really say I have a leader right now. I have a great relationship with Coach Caldwell. The whole staff texts me all the time, but Coach Caldwell probably the most. He is a wiser-type of guy. He helps me decipher things. He is more of a grandfather-figure to me.”
What other things stand out about the Tigers?
“Everybody there is genuine, especially the coaches,” Carman said. “The caliber of the recruits they are bringing in, like Xavier Thomas and Trevor Lawrence, those are the kind of people you want to be around. It's up in the air on that right now.”
In two weeks, however, he has a decision to make, and he detailed to TigerNet the attributes of his final school choice.
“It’s going to be the place I feel the most comfortable and most at home,” he said. “I am looking for where I’ll be in the best environment, an environment where there is a lot of competition every day. I want a place that will help me reach my goals and where I won’t be distracted, but at the same time will have people pushing me to be my best.”
5-star DE KJ Henry vs 5-star OT Jackson Carman pic.twitter.com/m6rkFSQ1Ks— Chris Kirschner (@ChrisKirschner) July 2, 2017
Trey Hill, Jamaree Salyer and Jackson Carman. Lot of talent in that group pic.twitter.com/hdmYbk2Cwc— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) July 3, 2017