The defensive line has been a major focus for Ed Orgeron and company on the 2021 recruiting trail thus far. LSU will be in a position next year where it more than likely will have to replace Tyler Shelvin, Glen Logan and Neil Farrell.
Orgeron will want to keep as much depth on the defensive line as possible, particularly with the switch to the 4-3 set to start this season. LSU has been in reload mode and the addition of defensive end Landon Jackson out of Pleasant Grove High School will be a big time addition to the defensive line.
Jackson committed to the Tigers on April 26 and will be accompanied by Anthony Hundley, Naquan Brown, Saivion Jones and Keanu Koht. The Texarkana, Texas native brings a championship pedigree to Baton Rouge as he’s looking to capture his third state title in four years with Pleasant Grove.
The 6-foot-5, 230-pound rising senior told LSUCountry in March that he loves the idea of his head coach also being a defensive line minded coach.
“I really like that because it means my head coach will be around my group and I feel like I'd have a lot closer relationship with my head coach if I had a coach like that," Jackson said.
Here is Jackson’s SI All-American player profile and scouting report.
Frame: Impressive length with big, wide shoulders. Waist and midsection are somewhat tight and has room to grow in his lower half.
Athleticism: Mobile edge defender with solid ability to bend on edges. He can flatten at corners. Does a good job of staying even at the top of the pocket during rush. Takes proper angles with good build-up speed when pursuing run from the backside. Strong enough to set edges at the point versus tight ends in the run game. Finishes well with good pop and wrap on ball carriers.
Instincts: High motor, effort, and intensity. Fair to attack half a man as a pass-rusher from the edges. Quick to read double-teams with enough torso rotation to skinny through. Alert to get hands up to impact throwing lanes when he can’t get home.
Polish: Lined up as LDE, RDE, DT, and LB in games viewed. Works in a 2-point and 4-point stance when on the ball. Also occasionally used as a loop player on E-T twist games. Has a slab/club-and rip move and a speed-to-power move in his current pass-rush toolbox. Will also use a rip as his counter. Plays with high pad level and allows blockers under his pads at the point. Needs to improve pass-rush plan.
Bottom Line: With his imposing size, length, and solid mobility, Jackson is a prospect with some scheme versatility. He has experience playing 3, 4i, 5, and 7-technique, as well as linebacker. Though he must develop a varied pass-rush plan, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Jackson settle as a 5/7-technique DE in a 4-man front with some gap exchange principles in college.