Recruiting has been in a bit of a holding pattern for Texas and that has made many fans a bit anxious as we head into the summer months, but good things come to those who wait. Last week was chaotic to put it mildly with Bru McCoy departing the program and heading back west and Zach Evans leaving Texas outside his top five schools (and his commentary that followed. Needless to say, Texas fans needed something to get the good vibes flowing again and that is where Duncanville’s Ja’Quinden Jackson comes in.
Jackson has long been a high priority target for the Longhorn staff and that hasn’t changed even with his desire to move forward as a quarterback despite already having Hudson Card in the class. Jackson is a caliber of player you simply figure a way to get him into your class because he is that talented and also offers you some flexibility down the line. The Texas staff has recruited him like the blue-chip talent that he is and now their efforts have been rewarded, as Jackson has announced he is bringing his talents to Austin to be a Longhorn.
Name: Ja’Quinden Jackson
Position: ATH (QB/LB)
High School: Duncanville
City & State: Duncanville, TX
40-yard time: 4.61
2017: 35/55 (60%) passing, 320 yards, 4 TDs/ 0 INTs – 93 carries, 766 yards (8.2 YPC), 12 TDs – 18 recs, 334 yards (18.5 YPC), 2 TDs
2018: 110/173 (63%) passing, 1550 yards, 15 TDs/ 3 INTs – 147 carries, 1497 yards (10.1 YPC), 23 TDs
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Ja’Quinden Jackson is a four-star dual-threat quarterback from Duncanville HS in Duncanville, TX. Jackson is a soon to be three-year starter that has split time between quarterback and wide receiver. At 6’2, 219 pounds Jackson possesses good size and a good, sturdy frame that will continue to allow him to add on good weight regardless of which position he ends up at developing at in the long run. As a quarterback, Jackson is still a work in progress, but he possesses some nice raw tools to work with going forward. For starters, Jackson possesses a good strong arm that will allow him to push the ball vertically down the field that defenses will have to respect as he continues to refine his game. He shows that he can make throws on the move whether it be to his left or to his right and had a really nice throw that stood out on tape where he threw to a spot in the back of the end zone while scrambling left for a touchdown. Jackson stands tall and the pocket while looking going through reads and doesn’t get flustered when the pocket starts collapsing and does a great job of using his feet to buy time for himself. His greatest strength by far is his ability to hurt a defense with his feet via the quarterback run game or when he flees the pocket. Jackson proves on tape he can pound the rock in between tackles, as Duncanville runs a lot of power read and quarterback counter. Jackson’s toughness and competitiveness flashes constantly as a runner as he embraces contact with defenders and is not at all averse to trying to drop the shoulder on you when the opportunity presents itself. It often takes more than one defender to bring Jackson down despite being a pretty big guy, he is also pretty elusive and shows good COD in the open field. You would think a big target like Jackson would be easy to hit, but he consistently makes defenders look foolish and to boot he has good straight-line speed that allows him to split a defense if he finds a crease. Jackson’s playmaking ability as a runner could get him onto the field early in his collegiate career in some specialty packages his coaching staff opts to get creative along the lines of the 18-Wheeler package that featured Tyrone Swoopes or like how Blake Bell was used at Oklahoma or Tim Tebow early at Florida. With all that said, Jackson’s development as a passer will have to come a long way if he wants to become more than just a one trick pony. On tape he shows a lot of easy completions on short routes and some low risk throws to open receivers, but those windows will be much tighter, and defenses will be able to take those away at the next level. Jackson’s development in this area will determine how the ceiling goes for him as a prospect if he decides quarterback is where his long-term future is. He’s without a doubt an alpha and a playmaker that makes plays under the brightest of lights against tough competition and that won’t be questioned, which is why you want a player like this on your roster regardless of position.
Jackson is easily one of the best football players in the state and the country regardless of position. He is a dude who is a flat-out playmaker and when the stakes are at their highest, he is going to show up and try to will his team to victory. You can go back and watch just about any game on high cutups and you will see number three out there bringing it from snap to snap. As long as Jackson is on the field, you know you are going to have a dog out there and guys like him are always fun to breakdown and study. The only question is where he will end up long term from a position standpoint, and right now I’m not sure the staff is too worried because that stuff often takes care of itself when the player gets to campus and starts putting the work in. Jackson is just a football player and he makes your team better the moment he is able to put a helmet and a jersey on in Austin.
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