Jackson played at one of the local high schools down the road from the University of Miami, Booker T Washington. While there, he played primarily as a defensive end and racked up gaudy stats as a senior. In his graduating year (2014), he ended the season with 68 tackles, 12 sacks and 13 more QB hurries to boot. During his senior year he was able to earn the Florida 4A State Championship title. Jackson had offers from Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisville and Texas but decided to sign his letter of intent to Miami.
2014 Season, Freshman Year
Jackson came into Miami with the measurables of 6’4” and ~225 pounds. Coach Golden and the previous regime had him penciled in to play along the defensive line so in order to play in the 34 style of defense, Jackson needed to redshirt his first year and bulk up.
2015 Season, Redshirt Freshman Year
As noted in previous write-ups, playing along the defensive line for Coach Golden and the previous regime would often times garner a player very little opportunity in terms of “filling up the stats sheet.” Jackson’s first season on the field proved no different from the others. He saw time in seven contests and generated a meager 11 total tackles and a half sack for the 2015 campaign.
2016 Season, Redshirt Sophomore Year
With the new coaching change came a new philosophy throughout the entire defense, which proved to be a benefit to Jackson. With the new attacking ideology and schemes, Jackson was asked to line up as a defensive lineman and simply get after the ball carrier whether that be a quarterback or running back.
In 2016, Jackson was able to start six of the 10 games he appeared in (missed three games in the middle of the season due to injury) and nearly tripled his tackling totals from the previous year (28 total tackles on the season) and also improved his sack numbers to 2.5 for the year. Jackson saw his sacks come in the first few games of the year (FAMU and FAU) but chipped in with a few tackles here and there throughout the season.
Looking Ahead to the Future
Jackson was a starter along the defensive line in 2016 and will be counted on again to hold down a position with Kendrick Norton, Chad Thomas and Joe Jackson heading into 2017. There is the potential for a big uptick in production next season for Jackson assuming he can stay healthy and also keep honing his craft under renowned position coach, Coach Kool during the offseason. Putting up 40 or so tackles and possibly even 5+ sacks will not be out of the realm of possibility for Jackson if he keeps growing into his role.
Miami is slowly turning over their players from the old regime to the new and the defensive line looks to be in good shape depth wise when it comes to making an impact on game day. Jackson is one of those key cogs who will be looked to for support in getting after the quarterback and running backs next season for the defensive line unit in 2017.