By Jim Halley, USA TODAY High School Sports | September 20, 2017
— #ArmyBowl (@ArmyAllAmerican) September 20, 2017
Jackson Carman, the top offensive tackle recruit in the 2018 class, hasn’t made his choice yet for college.
The decision for his postseason all-star team was a little easier.
Wednesday morning, the Army All-American Selection Tour Presented by American Family Insurance gave him his honorary jersey for the U.S Army All-American Bowl, which will kick off Saturday, Jan. 6 in San Antonio at noon (E.T.) on NBC.
“I don’t have anybody in my immediate family in the military, but I do have a deep respect for the military and I recognize the sacrifices that they make and it’s a proud feeling to wear that on my back,” Carman said.
Carman, who showed his cooking prowess my making a meal for some Southern Cal football players when he visited the campus, said it didn’t hurt his decision to attend the Army game when the organizers took him out to dinner.
“I love cooking food and the culinary arts,” Carman said. “I just love that whole aspect of food. … There are not too many foods I wouldn’t like or new foods I wouldn’t try. I’m really good at making Caribbean jerk stir fry with shrimp and vegetables. I make really good cake. I can turn ramen noodles into a five-star meal by adding things into it that people normally don’t. When I went to USC and cooked for the players, I cooked for the guys who were hosting me and they were very impressed.”
Carman, who is 6-6 and 330 pounds, has been in the news lately for his criticism of Ohio State’s choice of starter at quarterback. He said that, with J.T. Barrett struggling, Carman would like to see backup Dwayne Haskins get a chance. That provoked a back-and-forth Twitter exchange between Carman and ESPN college football color commentator Kirk Herbstreit, who is an Ohio State alumnus:
Pretty sure their opinions, once they get into their future locker rooms, won't go over real well. https://t.co/Gp1qEeXpHx
— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) September 12, 2017
Pretty sure I wouldn't have any problems in Dabo Swinney's or Clay Helton's locker room for my OPINION on OSU's qb issues. 🤔 https://t.co/FMVwGpAJ2J
— T H E J I A N T (@Jackthejiant) September 13, 2017
“Not only does an athlete have a responsibility to speak up on things like that but people with fame in general have an obligation to speak up,” Carman said. “If people don’t voice their opinions, there is never going to be reform in the game or evolution in the game.”
Carman has said his final three schools are Southern Cal, Clemson and Ohio State and he plans to make his final official visits to USC and Clemson in December before enrolling early in January.
“It’s been a tough choice so far,” he said. “And it will probably still be tough choice, because there are so many great things about all these colleges and at the end, you can only choose one.”