Eddie Jackson made his intent to sign with Alabama public knowledge on Wednesday morning, in a move that surprised little. However, his rise from solid South Florida standout to SEC prospect was surprising as it gets for most.
Well, surprising for those outside of the Lauderdale Lakes (Fla.) Boyd Anderson circle, one head coach Wayne Blair knows a little something about. He thinks there is professional potential for Jackson, a two-way standout at Boyd Anderson.
"If you want to check my lineage, as far as a coach, I've got five to six guys in the NFL right now," said Blair. "I think this guy right now, as far as being a complete player, he's there."
With a high ceiling like that, Jackson has plenty to live up to in Tuscaloosa. Before he reaches that point, there are some aspects of his game that need to be fine-tuned technique-wise, but the raw talent – mainly speed – is there in the 6-foot, 180-pounder.
"Definitely footwork and hand placement," said Blair. "Other than that, as far as being a physical and tough kid, he's right there. "
"There are a few things Alabama will be able to polish-off and make him much more of a student-athlete," the coach continued. "He has a unique set of skills both offensively and defensively, but I know for a fact defensively will be a key at Alabama.
Like Woodson, Jackson has the ability – and choice – to play either safety or cornerback in Nick Saban's defense. But the more it gets talked about, the more it seems like his destination will be on the outside.
"It's a home, there's a need for larger and bigger corners in the SEC where receivers are only getting bigger and bigger by the year," Blair added on his prospects of being an SEC cornerback.
Despite the prestige of the Crimson Tide, claiming yet another BCS title after the 2012 season, there's the possibility that Jackson can compete for playing time sooner than later.
"According to the depth chart, it's a situation where Eddie can make a move," said Blair. "He's got to come in and continue to make the adjustment.
"We're going to continue to work out with during the offseason right up until the time that he's ready to go there for summer school."
Between now and when Jackson is ready for his time in Tuscaloosa, he will continue to work, as the coach alluded to. But when he's not, Boyd Anderson's leader says that Jackson is not a worry to get into any situations like his older brother did while he was in high school. The trio of arrests big brother dealt with as a teenager at Boyd Anderson plagued his transition from the prep level to college.
Said Blair, "Off the field, he's a good kid. He's the type of kid that when the school bell rings, if he's not lifting, he's going home. Both parents are in his life. His older brother is (class of 2010 four-star) Demar Dorsey, and he's definitely learned from the mistakes his brother had."