The Iowa Hawkeyes have been more active in the transfer portal this season than ever before. After falling victim to a late Charlie Jones departure a season ago, the Hawkeye staff has been very proactive in filling potential holes at positions of need early in the cycle for the 2023 portal window.
To-date, that has included several key additions, including Michigan QB Cade McNamara as well as his former tight end Erick All plus another tight end for good measure, a pair of offensive linemen and some much needed help at wide receiver. But Iowa is not yet done in the portal with another major addition coming into the fold on Wednesday as former Virginia linebacker Nick Jackson announced his decision to transfer to the Hawkeyes.
Jackson is a big time get for the Hawkeyes. A three-year starter for the Cavaliers, Jackson has led the ACC in tackles each of the last two seasons and figures as an immediate plug and play in the spot vacated by All-American Jack Campbell.
Clearly, nobody is going to completely fill the void left by an all-time great such as Campbell, but Jackson goes a long way in doing so. The Atlanta native has been named All-ACC each of the last three seasons (2nd team each of the last two years and 3rd team as a sophomore), racking up 352 career tackles, 10.5 sacks and 8 passes defended during his time in the orange and blue.
As a senior, Jackson was once again the leader and team captain for the Cavs, leading the team with 104 tackles (41 solo), 5 sacks, 4 passes defended and a fumble recovery. For context, Campbell finished with 125 (59) and 1 with 2 INTs last year (and 299 tackles, 3 sacks, 9 passes defended and 5 INTs over his career in Iowa City). To say Nick Jackson is good would be a major understatement.
Beyond his raw talent, Jackson is a noted leader in the locker room and on the field. He was a team captain at Virginia (the fourth team captain to transfer to Iowa this cycle) who proved to be the heart and soul of the Cavs defense. His teammates called out his work ethic and motor as being off the charts.
It sounds like a match made in heaven.
That feeling continues to grow the more you watch and hear about Jackson. He seems to have grown in his role in each passing season in Charlottesville and now looks to do the same in Iowa City.
"I'm talking to her during the games honestly. I just know she's watching."— Preston Willett (@PrestonWillett) October 19, 2022
Nick Jackson (@nickjhoops) has become the emotional leader for @UVAFootball.
But his example of strength comes from his Grandma, who passed away earlier this season: https://t.co/voZCytog7T pic.twitter.com/IuvsAElRTT
Originally a 3-star prospect in the class of 2019 out of Atlanta’s Lovett High School, where Iowa recruited and offered along with a slew of other Big Ten and ACC programs, Jackson ultimately chose to extend his college career with the Hawkeyes over interest from a slew of offers. He ultimately trimmed his list and took visits to Oklahoma, LSU, Auburn and Vanderbilt.
He will have one season in Iowa City to help continue the tradition of elite defenses Phil Parker has built before heading to the NFL in 2024.
Welcome aboard Nick Jackson!