Countdown – 15 Most Indispensable Hawkeyes for 2018 – No. 15

August 7, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

IOWA CITY, Iowa – I started this exercise last year in July. As you can see, this summer has been a little busier.

Beginning today, we’ll count down the 15 most indispensable Hawkeyes for 2018. These are the players I believe the team can least afford to lose by way of injury, suspension, alien abduction or some other unforeseen reason.

I use several factors in generating this list. It starts with a given player’s ability. From there, experience, depth at a position, perceived development and a general sense of the roster are considered.

I’m guessing you guys will see things differently than me, at least to some degree. That’s OK. There’s plenty we don’t know at this point.

I had Manny Rugamba on this list last year and not Josh Jackson. That seems silly now but made sense at the time.

Let’s see if I can make a fool of myself again. I’m confident I can.

No. 15 – Alaric Jackson, Left Tackle

Continue reading below

Related In HawkeyeNation Forums

Projected Backup – Mark Kallenberger

Reason He’s Here – The last time we saw Jackson, he was helping Iowa’s offense roll over rival Nebraska in Lincoln. He missed the Pinstripe Bowl for an undisclosed violation of team rules.

He started spring ball at right tackle before the coaches decided his best spot was on the left side. Tristan Wirfs showed enough versatility to swing back to the right.

Continue reading below

Jackson improved as last season progressed. He struggled at times with consistency, which seems reasonable for a redshirt freshman.

With another offseason under his belt and a year of experience to draw on, Jackson should step forward to more frequently protect quarterback Nate Stanley’s blind side. He’s an athletic 6-foot-7, 320 pounds as evidenced by him standing out in football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and track during high school.

Jackson, who enters his third season in the program, just turned 20. He arrived at Iowa still raw at football, having not taken up the sport until he was a sophomore. He’s added about 35 pounds since high school.

Continue reading below

Redshirt freshman Mark Kallenberger is the backup here and is receiving praise from the coaches for his development. We could see him slide over to right tackle and start in the season opener against Northern Illinois on Sept. 1 with Wirfs suspended following an OWI last month.

There being at three solid tackles on the roster keeps Jackson a little farther down this list than if depth was a bigger concern. Coaches and fans hope he enjoys the type of season that moves up him higher next year.

Editor’s Note: It was announced Wednesday that Jackson would miss the Sept. 1 season opener against Northern Illinois due to a violation of team rules.

Trending in Forums View All >

HawkeyeNation Archives View All >

Schwartz: When A Loss Is Just A Loss

David Schwartz

February 21, 2019

Making sense of Tuesday’s disappointing setback against Maryland.

A Joe Moore Playing at Iowa Seems Like a Natural Occurrence

Rob Howe

February 20, 2019

St. Louis defensive end learns more about Hawkeyes at junior day.

Iowa Building Strong Bond with Standout St. Louis DE Travion Ford

Rob Howe

February 20, 2019

Sophomore checks out Hawkeyes again during junior day visit.

The Breakdown: Maryland Keeps Hawkeyes from Another Comeback Win

Rob Howe

February 19, 2019

Diving into Tuesday’s game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

HN TV: Iowa Players Maryland Postgame Interviews

Rob Howe

February 19, 2019

Hawkeyes talk following Tuesday’s game against Terrapins.

Transcript & Video: Fran McCaffery Maryland Postgame Press Conference

Rob Howe

February 19, 2019

Iowa coach meets with media after Tuesday’s game.

HN TV: Mark Turgeon Iowa Postgame Press Conference

Rob Howe

February 19, 2019

Maryland coach discusses Tuesday’s game against the Hawkeyes.

Photo Gallery: Maryland Slips By Hawkeyes on Late Tip-In

Rob Howe

February 19, 2019

Pictures from Tuesday’s action in Iowa City.