Usually, in recruiting, the big battles among the big school occur for players ranked inside the top 300. While Billy Napier and Florida football have offered, a number of players ranked outside the top 300, the other schools also in the running for those players usually aren’t the blue bloods of college football.
That’s what makes the recruitment of defensive tackle Jayden Jackson fascinating. He doesn’t have a four-star pedigree, yet the list of his final five schools would make you think he does.
Florida Football: I’m sorry Ms. Jackson, I am for real
Jackson currently attends IMG Academy and has Florida in his final five, along with Texas, Miami, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
With a list like that, one would think Jackson would be a sure-fire four-star guy, but his composite ranking is 648th nationally, with Rivals and ESPN not even having him on their radar.
Listed at 6’2″ and 300 pounds, Jackson is one of the few defensive linemen that can claim to be 300 pounds.
On film, Jackson has a mean streak to him. He sheds double-team blocks, stays low, and once he gets a path to the QB, he closes with ease.
Once he gets his arms around a QB or running back, he does not bring them to the ground gently. He makes sure that player regrets their decision to want to play football.
The critique on film, however, would be that his first step once the snap is made doesn’t always feel as explosive as it could. His path to the QB often feels like a locomotive that built up steam rather than a sports car that burst through the line instantly.
But given his raw power, he still pushes back opposing linemen no matter his jump.
Right now, On3 has Ohio State as the favorite for his services. But Billy Napier and crew are still pursuing Jackson and still have him on their radar enough to be among his final five schools.