In-state prospect gets look at LB/FB

Capable of playing either fullback or inside linebacker, Aliceville's Vonzell Jackson is being looked at closely by the Alabama coaches.

Jackson attended Alabama's mini-camp this past summer, where he registered a 32-inch vertical jump. He also got a chance to meet the Alabama coaches in person and came away impressed. "The coaches stress academics," Jackson told in a recent interview, "and I really like that."

Vonzell Jackson (6-2, 215) plays fullback in a two back set at Aliceville High School. Last season he powered his way to 720 yards rushing, caught passes for 125 yards, totaling nine scores in the process. Jackson was especially effective in the triple option part of the offense, as it showcased his combination of talents as a runner, receiver, and blocker.

His offensive prowess was impressive, but Jackson's dream is to play middle linebacker in college. He accumulated 84 tackles as a junior, while he gained a reputation as a player that plays the game hard and hits the ball carrier running wide open.

Compared to other self-reported recruiting times, Jackson's 4.70 time in the 40-yard dash isn't startling. But his high school coach talks about "football speed." "The game is important to him," said Maurice Belser, his prep coach. "And Vonzell runs a 4.7 on every play--whether he is carrying the ball or tackling the back."

Jackson missed two games his junior year due to a neck injury, but when he returned he showed no hesitation making tackles. An All County selection as a junior, Jackson etched his name on numerous opponents with his "collision attitude."

Jackson attended Alabama's mini-camp this past summer where he impressed the Tide coaches.

Jackson is hearing from several schools, but he lists his favorites as Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Florida and Mississippi State. Nebraska and MTSU are also staying in close touch.

"I like the atmosphere and the players at Alabama," Jackson said.

Jackson's cousin, Johnny Jackson, signed this past year with Louisiana Tech out of junior college.

He bench presses 325 pounds, squats 480 and power cleans 240. Jackson carries a 2.4 GPA and scored 18 on the ACT.

RECRUITING NOTE: More so than at most positions, how the situation at linebacker will play out is probably anyone's guess. Reportedly, the Tide coaches liked what they saw of Jackson at this summer's mini-camp and will be watching him closely during his senior season.

At this point a couple of out-of-state prospects are getting most of the recruiting hype, but Jackson would be a solid in-state signee.

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