Jackson is an explosive 5-foot-10 cornerback prospect from Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, Calif. He is also the only top 10 prospect in the ESPN 300 to not pick a school, which makes him the highest coveted player left uncommitted.
What makes Jackson so coveted is his versatility. While projected as a college cornerback, Jackson could end up playing in all three phases of the game with speed, quickness and ball skills. This quick-twitch athlete fits into the De’Anthony Thomas of Oregon mold; a natural athlete who could do anything you ask him to on the field physically. His physical ability is not the only thing Jackson relies on; he has the savvy in coverage to become a top-level cornerback in college. What is interesting about Jackson is that he doesn’t have a lot of PAC-12 schools on his list, at least not at the top. Jackson has also not taken any visits to PAC-12 schools, and with signing day coming up, I doubt he will take any more.
Jackson has Oklahoma, LSU, Florida State and Tennessee as his top four schools and are the only schools he has visited. Florida is also in the mix to get Jackson, and I believe the reason behind that is Florida’s willingness to play guys on both sides of the ball like Loucheiz Purifoy this past year. Yet, his school selection is strange for a kid from the greater Los Angeles area; while most west coast prospects stay at home or somewhere relatively close, Jackson’s sights are set east.
Oklahoma always seems to have a few west coast players on their roster and Jackson could be the next. I could see the Sooners using Jackson as a corner, a slot receiver and on kick and punt returns. Oklahoma is losing their top corner, Aaron Colvin, to graduation so Jackson would also fill a need. Florida State is stacked at a lot of positions, but could use Jackson to replace a receiver on offense or to help with the graduation of LaMarcus Joyner.
LSU has had a history of producing good cornerback prospects in the past 4 years going from Patrick Peterson to Morris Claiborne; Jackson could be following the trend of top cornerbacks going to Baton Rouge. Tennessee could use Jackson on defense, where they lack overall team speed in the secondary. The Volunteers are the most interesting team on Jackson’s list in my opinion. Jackson’s interest must be a testament to Tennessee head coach Butch Jones’ knack for recruiting.
Jackson will make an immediate impact as a freshman wherever he chooses to go. Personally I hope he waits until signing day make a decision; there’s nothing wrong with waiting to make huge decision like where to attend college. Plus, the anticipation is the best part of signing day.