Action Jackson

Arkansas' new staff has dipped into Miami once again and is poised to officially land a commit from Booker T. Washington's Demetrius Jackson, a blossoming defensive end who has shown an affinity for his new sport.

It's not often – if ever – that a young man has three college football scholarship offers despite not even having played one official high school game.

But that's the case for Miami (Fla.) Booker T. Washington defensive end Demetrius Jackson (6-5, 225), a former basketball standout and the cousin of Arkansas 2013 signee Denver Kirkland (6-4, 330).

Off of spring practice and because of his performance in the Tornados' 62-14 spring exhibition game win over St. Petersburg Lockwood, Jackson has offers from Arkansas, Louisville and Florida International.

He has decided he wants to be a Razorback and made that known Thursday to Arkansas assistant coach and former Miami head coach Randy Shannon, who was on hand for the spring game and took a tape of it back to Fayetteville to evaluate.

"I committed Thursday morning to Arkansas and told Coach Shannon I want to be a Razorback," Jackson said. "He was going to talk to (Arkansas head) Coach (Bret) Bielema, who was not in Fayetteville, and they'll get back to me and then it will then be official."

It was Kirkland that got Jackson interested in Arkansas.

"He's my cousin and he says that everything is great about Arkansas – the coaches, the campus and the fans," Jackson said. "I am anxious to get up there sometime in August and see for myself."

Jackson averaged 15 points per game for Booker T. Washington's basketball team last season and was coaxed into coming out for football by head football coach Tim "Ice" Harris.

"Coach Harris said he saw something in me and that I shouldn't sell myself short," Jackson said. "He thought I could be a really good defensive end, one that had college potential. When I got out there everything just seemed to click."

He had six quarterback hurries, recovered a fumble, batted down three passes in just over a half of action in the spring exhibition game.

"I am very athletic and have great quickness and speed and just apparently have a great ability to get to the quarterback," Jackson added. "All of the coaches really seem to think football is going to be a great sport for me."

Jackson, who has a 36-inch vertical jump, has been working out with Booker T. Washington defensive end Chad Thomas, a national recruit.

"He is an All-American and I am just watching him and learning everything I can as I learn this game and how to play," Jackson said. "I know I am getting better every day going up against him."

Jackson sees himself in the mold of former North Carolina football and basketball star Julius Peppers, a 12-year NFL veteran who is now with the Chicago Bears and nicknamed "The Freak of Nature."

"That's a guy that I can pattern myself after in that he was a great athlete that really turned himself into a great defensive end," Jackson said.

Jackson knows what he must do this summer.

"Now that I am playing football, I have to get in the weight room and get stronger," Jackson said. ‘I know it will be more than just about my speed and athletic ability in the SEC."

He notes that Kirkland is likely to become a force in the SEC.

"He is a huge guy, but no one is going to outwork him, no way is going to out think him and no one is going to out play him," Jackson said. "He's just a beast and going to be a great player for Arkansas."


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