December 5, 2011

Jackson set to decide




Jackson's Recruitment

Scottsdale C.C. (Ariz.) tight end Blake Jackson exploded on to the scene in the early Fall. With ideal size, at 6-foot-5, 240-pounds, soft hands, and excellent athleticism, Jackson turned the heads of some major programs at the beginning of his second year at Scottsdale.

After being offered by the likes of Arizona, Miami, Arkansas, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M in the spring and early summer, Jackson was offered by Georgia and Oklahoma in the fall. The JUCO standout decided to visit Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Georgia, and Oklahoma officially.

After his first two visits to Arkansas and Georgia, many thought it would be a battle between those two SEC teams for his signature, but Oklahoma and Oklahoma State did a great job in hosting Jackson as well.

Arkansas seems to be eliminated from the discussion for the time being, and it appears as if it will come down to the Sooners, Cowboys, and Bulldogs for Jackson's services.


Jackson's Skill Set

Jackson has the ability to be an elite pass-catching tight end at the next level. He has long arms, great hands, and does an excellent job of finding space against zone defenses. He is strong enough to get off of press coverage, and he is fast enough to run away from defenders if they give him a clean release.

The Arizona native will create matchup problems with everyone that tries to cover him. Defensive backs are going to be too small to deal with Jackson big frame and long arms, and linebackers won't handle his athleticism.

While he is mainly a threat at receiver, he is also a willing and energetic blocker. He isn't particularly strong at the point of attack, but he stays with his blocks until the whistle. He is a very good second level blocker and uses his body well to shield opposing linebackers and defensive backs. His hand placement needs work, and he needs to play with more leverage.


If Jackson Commits to UGA

The addition of Jackson to the 2012 recruiting class would be a huge boost for UGA. The Bulldogs will lose Aron White to graduation in 2011, so Jackson has an opportunity to step right in. Jackson is very similar to White, and would be an ideal fit for his role in the Georgia offense.

Jackson would give the Bulldogs a big target in the red zone, and a player that could be an effective third down option for quarterback Aaron Murray. Georgia coaches are also excited about his ability to get down field and dominate defensive backs with his blocking ability.


If Jackson Does Not Choose UGA

Should Jackson not choose to play his college ball in Athens, the Bulldogs will likely stand pat at the tight end position. They already have Colquitt County prospect Ty Smith committed for 2012, and while he won't be ready to contribute a great deal in 2012, UGA will also have Jay Rome and Arthur Lynch to step up and back up Orson Charles.

With speculation that Charles may leave for the NFL draft, the Bulldogs could decide to make a late run at a sleeper prospect if they miss on Jackson. This scenario becomes even more likely if Charles does choose to forgo his senior season.


Prediction

There isn't a ton of info out there about Jackson's recruitment. All of his visits have been rated highly, and every school he has visited has a great offensive philosophy and a history of putting tight ends in the NFL. Oklahoma State could be seen as the leader as Jackson is fresh off his visit to Stillwater. Oklahoma hosted the JUCO standout the week before, so that visit could have also made a big impression on the young man.

In the end, however, Georgia's tradition of putting tight ends in the NFL is a huge draw for Jackson. If he plays in Athens, he'll also be able to play all of his home games in front of his father who lives in the Atlanta area. Keith Marshall will give Georgia their 15th commitment earlier in the afternoon, and Jackson will be number 16.



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