El Dorado's first U.S. Army All-American now has his jersey to prove it.
Arkansas defensive tackle pledge Bijhon Jackson (6-2, 320) got the jersey on Monday at a ceremony at his school.
"It's a first for us and it is a really big honor for a great player and a great kid," El Dorado head coach Scott Reed said. "His family and friends were here and the Army did a great job and Bijhon did a great job. He is really comfortable doing things like that."
He and Springdale Har-Ber defensive tackle Josh Frazier – who were both born Nov. 6, 1995 and are good friends – have both been selected to play in the All-Star game that will be held Jan. 4, 2014 in San Antonio.
Jackson, a four-star prospect now ranked in Scout.com's top 100 players nationally, has over 60 tackles this season for a El Dorado squad that started 0-3 and 2-4, but rallied to go 5-1 in 7A/6A South conference play.
The Wildcats have a No. 1 seed heading into this Friday's first-round Class 6A state playoff game with visiting Mountain Home (0-10).
Greenwood downed El Dorado in a semifinal round game last season, but the Wildcats have won three state titles in the last five years and made at least the semifinals each of those seasons.
"Honestly we got off to a slow start, but we went into last week's game at Bryant (a 14-10 loss) with a chance to win the conference title outright," Reed said. "I have really been happy with both Bijhon's play and his leadership this year. He has been a joy to coach and it has been great to watch him grow as a player."
Reed noted that the athletic Jackson – who weighed as much as 335 this summer – is now under 320.
Ranked as the nation's fourth-best defensive tackle per Scout.com, he bench presses 405 pounds and has a best power clean of 335.
"Bijhon is in the best shape of life and can do things for his size that are just incredible," Reed said. "He has a motor like you wouldn't believe.
"There was a jet sweep play about a week ago where he split the guard and tackle and went airborne to bring down the back," Reed said. "It was just amazing to see him do that."
Reed said that it is tough having a live practice with Jackson on defense.
"It is really hard to practice with him on the other side because he is always going full speed with the motor of his and it is hard to run plays and keep the offensive guys healthy," Reed said. "He is just a fantastic football player."
Jackson has had a productive senior season for the Wildcats.
"Bijhon has intercepted a pass, forced a couple of fumbles, recovered and averaging about five to six tackles a game, which is big for a defensive tackle," Reed said. "A lot of those had been solo tackles."
The one thing that Jackson doesn't have this season is a bunch of sacks as he did last season with six.
"For some reason, the teams in our league are not passing the ball very much at all so he hasn't gotten the chance this year to have a lot of sacks," Reed said. "But he does have a ton of tackles for lost yardage. He's just had a great year for us."
Scott Reed, Bijhon Jackson
Being All That He Can Be
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