Hogs land 4-star LSU DE transfer from portal
Arkansas has nabbed another player at a position of need from the transfer portal.
Following his official visit to Fayetteville this weekend, former LSU defensive end Landon Jackson has announced he’ll continue his college career with the Razorbacks. He was also recruited by numerous Power Five programs.
It is the second transfer head coach Sam Pittman and Arkansas have landed in as many weeks, as former Oklahoma wide receiver Jadon Haselwood committed after his official visit last weekend.
“I like that Pittman cares so much for the state,” Jackson said after his visit. “He's really passionate about what he does, and he's not just here because they're paying him big money. I mean, this is his dream job. I know he's going to give his all to me, so I love it down here."
Although not quite as heralded as Haselwood, Jackson was still a highly regarded prospect coming out of Pleasant Grove High in Texarkana, Texas.
The 6-foot-7, 275-pound edge rusher actually visited Fayetteville multiple times and considered Arkansas as part of the Class of 2021, but ultimately chose LSU over Texas A&M and numerous other offers.
During his lone season with the Tigers, Jackson appeared in the first five games of 2021 with all of his playing time coming on special teams. He played 45 snaps and participated on the punt coverage, punt return and kickoff coverage units. He was reportedly limited as he recovered from a serious injury suffered his senior year of high school.
Because he played in five games, Jackson did not redshirt as a true freshman. That means he’ll have four years to play three at Arkansas. A recent rule change by the NCAA that eliminated the requirement to sit out a year will make him immediately eligible to play for the Razorbacks.
It is no surprise that Pittman and defensive coordinator Barry Odom targeted Jackson. Not only was he interested in the program coming out of high school, as evidenced by his 8-10 trips to Fayetteville during his recruitment process, but he also has family in Rogers and cousins who attend the UA.
Arkansas is in desperate need of pass rushers, as well. The Razorbacks are set to lose at least Tre Williams and Markell Utsey from their defensive line and they could also lose defensive tackle John Ridgeway if he opts to enter the NFL Draft instead of returning as a super senior in 2022.
That trio accounted for 32 of 40 defensive line starts in 2021 and Williams was by far the team’s top pass rusher. According to Pro Football Focus, he generated a team-high 36 pressures - 17 more than the next closest Arkansas player.
"That family aspect," Jackson said about why he committed. "Family right up the road, cousins that go here, and then (it's) somewhere that I can get on the field and play this coming season. And I've got a really good relationship with Coach Pittman and Coach Odom right now."
Jackson and Haselwood will be considered initial counters in the Razorbacks’ 2022 class, but do no factor into the Rivals recruiting rankings, which currently have the 20-man class at No. 12 nationally.