That, combined with the opportunity to play for a surging program, led Jackson to sign with OSU over schools like Oklahoma, Georgia, Miami and Arkansas.
OSU has had its share of stout tight ends in the recent past. Brandon Pettigrew was an All-Big 12 first-teamer in 2007 before being drafted in the first round by the Detroit Lions in 2009. In 2003, Billy Bajema was a second-team All-Big 12 selection.
But since Dana Holgorsen arrived as offensive coordinator in 2010, the Cowboys have significantly minimized their use of the position. Cooper Bassett moved from tight end to defensive end in 2010. Wilson Youman played both tight end and defensive end this past season, but was used almost exclusively on defense the second half of the year.
The same could happen with Veatch, a block-first tight end who said last week that he will begin his OSU career at that position but could eventually move to defense, depending on his progress.
Jackson is a different breed, though. He is expected to become a versatile threat in OSU's pass-happy offense — not unlike the some of the NFL stars playing in conference championship games on Sunday.
“One of the selling points (when recruiting Jackson) was, ‘Watch the games, what some of these teams are going to,'” Monken said. “The (Rob) Gronkowskis. The (Aaron) Hernandezes. The Vernon Davises. Those guys are solid blockers, but they're such a weapon (in the passing game).”
Berry Tramel contributed to this report.