Making An Immediate Impact

In his weekly recruiting column for Hawgs Illustrated, Dudley E. Dawson chats with Scottsdale (AZ) Community College tight end Blake Jackson (6-4, 235), who will visit Arkansas officially this weekend along with teammate Mike Pennel (6-5, 345) and Miami commit and linebacker Reggie Northrup (6-2, 215). This story is free and sponsored by the Arkansas Toyota Dealers.

Now that his season has ended, Scottsdale (AZ) Community College tight end and mid-term graduate Blake Jackson can really concentrate on where he will play his next game.

Jackson (6-4, 235) will take three official visits beginning with a trip to Arkansas this weekend, one to Georgia next week and then finishing up with a trek to Oklahoma State on Dec. 2-4 when the Cowboys host Oklahoma.

"I'm excited about taking these visits, finding out the best situation for me and getting my decision out of the way," Jackson said. "It is an exciting time for me."

Jackson, who had 62 catches for 934 yards and 16 touchdowns this season for the 7-4 Fighting Artichokes.

He will visit head coach Bobby Petrino's Razorback program this weekend along with teammate Mike Pennel (6-5, 345), a huge defensive tackle.

Pennel has 11 offers and has set up visits to Arkansas and Texas A&M (Nov. 24-26) so far.

"Mike is just huge, a force of nature," Jackson said. "We've talked about how it would be great playing together on the next level, but know we have to make the best individual decision for each of us."

Those two join Miami linebacker commit Reggie Northrup (6-2, 215) as the trio of official visitors for this weekend's game with Tennessee.

He will also take an official visit to Miami and likely North Carolina, Auburn and likely one other school.

""The important thing with these colleges is me getting an opportunity to compete for a starting position or just playing time as a freshman," Northrup told "The program, how good the coaching is, the type of defense that they run, the academics overall, and location are also factors. Location will be the least important factor – if what's best for me is to go far, that's where I'll go."

Jackson – who took an unofficial visit to Arkansas in April for the school's Spring game - is very clear about the factors that will help guide his decision, which he plans to announce in mid-December.

"Since I will come in as a junior, the number one thing is that there has to be a situation where I can get on the field and be an impact player right away," Jackson said. "I also want to feel comfortable with the coaches and players because those relationships are key both on and off the field. I also want to really see what the game-day atmosphere is like at each school and I'll get a chance to do that."

Arkansas, whose only reliable pass-catching tight end this season has been junior Chris Gragg, certainly provides that for Jackson.

"I love Coach Petrino's offense and they really get the ball to the tight ends," Jackson said. "I think I could really excel in that offense and develop and become the best player I can be. I really love the coaches and guys down there, they really know what they are doing and I think it could be a perfect fit for me."

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