DE - 6'4 230 - Miami, Fl (Booker T. Washington)
3/4 star prospect depending on the recruiting service. Spent most of his career on the hardwood, before the coaching staff talked him into playing football as a senior.
Might also be worth watching to see if he tries walking on Coach L's squad.
Despite the lack of experience on the gridiron, picked up 12 sacks even while missing time with injury.
Ridiculously athletic kid, who could be a monster pass rusher down the line, but is also very raw.
Chances He Redshirts (1-10) - 9
As part of this series we will evaluate if the given newcomer stands a chance to sit out his first season to retain eligibility.
Jackson needs time to add some weight to his frame and refine his skill set. At this level simply being a dominant athlete helps, but leaning to use your hands to shed blockers and working within a complex defensive scheme, takes time. There's a chance he could see the field for the sole purpose of getting sacks. But with Tyriq McCord, Al-Quadin Muhammad, and Chad Thomas ahead of him, my guess is redshirt.
Summary: If he can put on 25-30 pounds and keep all of his agility while learning some moves, Jackson could be a sensational player in a few seasons. Maybe even a double digit sack type DE. The fact he played as well as he did in just one season of H.S. ball, indicates he might just be a "natural." Either way, the 'Canes continue to stock pile talented defensive edge players, and that is never a bad thing.
Stay tuned for more Freshman profiles as we count down to Louisville on Labor Day.