The article below originally appeared in the Palo Alto Daily News and is being reprinted with permission.

One of the people to blame for Christian McCaffrey finishing as the Heisman Trophy runner-up is Dominick Jackson.

A graduate of Homestead High in Cupertino, the 6-foot-6 senior at Alabama became the starter at right tackle after spending the previous year as a jumbo-blocking back in goal line situations.

Jackson and his brethren on the offensive line for the Crimson Tide plowed through opponents to open holes for running back Derrick Henry, who set a single-season SEC record for rushing yards en route to the Heisman.

But his journey from Homestead to Alabama had a two-year pit stop at College of San Mateo, where the 315-pound offensive lineman played right guard as a sophomore and solidified his ranking as one of the top J.C. players at any position in the class of 2014.

“Dominick is very athletic for how big he is,” CSM coach Bret Pollack said. “He can do cartwheels and back flips. So at right over 300 pounds, there’s not many people that can do that kind of stuff. He’s very athletic, he’s very tenacious, he’s very nasty. So he has the mentality and he has the athleticism to be a good offensive lineman, that’s for sure.”

Tabbed second-team all-SEC this season, Jackson is preparing to play for a national championship as No. 2 Alabama takes on undefeated Clemson at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Monday at 5:30 p.m.

“I will watch this game and see how he does, how he performs,” Pollack said. “It’s a big game for him and hopefully he can take care of business.”