Arkansas commit Bijhon Jackson is just ready to be a Razorback already.
Jackson, a defensive lineman from El Dorado, once told his top five choices were "Arkansas, Arkansas, Arkansas, Arkansas, Arkansas" and he has held firm to it.
"It's a crazy, he said. "I've always been a Razorback at heart and I have always rooted for the Razorbacks, but now getting the chance to play for them in a few months, it's just such a huge blessing. I just hope to make an impact and help the team succeed."
Now that Jackson (6-foot-2, 320 pounds) is finished with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, he feels more physically and mentally prepared to play for the Razorbacks, as well.
"It was a good experience," Jackson said of the Army All-American game and preparation. "I've never had to go against so many 300-pounders in my life. And going against the best players in the country and getting some of the best coaching in the country really helped get me ready for the next level.
"I think I really improved my pass rushing by going against the best talent in the country and getting the best coaching in the country. I mean at this level, it's as a good of preparation for the next level as I can get.
Jackson said the offensive lineman that challenged him the most was Minnesota commit Connor Mayes. Mayes is Scout's No. 2 center in the country. He is a four-star from Van Alstyne, Texas.
"Connor Mayes is probably the best lineman I have ever been against," Jackson said. "He definitely gave me some problems in practice and he caught me off-guard a few times. He made me a better player though, by being so tough."
Jackson said he never went against four-star offensive lineman Brian Wallace, who committed to Arkansas over Alabama at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He said he was impressed with Wallace's play when he did get the chance to watch him, though.
"When I saw him perform, it kind of surprised me how good he actually is," Jackson said of Wallace. "I didn't really get to see him a lot, but in his one-on-one pass rushing drills, he was really good. He keeps his balance and he wouldn't let people push him back. He might not play a lot next year, but he definitely will make a big impact soon."
A duo of other Arkansas defensive line targets, consisting of Solomon Thomas and Josh Frazier, played next to Jackson throughout the week. Jackson said even though Frazier, a four-star defensive tackle from Springdale Har-Ber, committed elsewhere, he has maintained a close relationship with Frazier.
"Me and Josh have been friends for a couple of years," Jackson said. "We actually have the same birthday. It's crazy how things happen sometimes. It's nice to get to play besides him. We played side by side a lot today and he's really good. He's come a long way.
"As far as persuading him to come to Arkansas, I'm not doing that so much really," he added. "At first, I recruited him a lot, trying to get him to go to Arkansas, but I didn't want to try too hard and end up being the one that was pushing him away, so right now, it's more like a friendship. Well, we're like brothers, really."
Jackson said he has also developed a strong friendship with Solomon Thomas, a five-star defensive end from Coppell, Texas. Thomas will visit Arkansas on Jan. 17.
"It was cool getting to work with Solomon," Jackson said. "And not just playing with him on the field, but being able to hang out off the field, too. We have a strong friendship and it was cool playing with him. He's really good and he's a great man. It was fun getting to work with him.
"The defensive line is missing a positional coach and it's not really going to be that deep of a unit at Arkansas. So he would add some much-needed depth.
"He's an extremely good pass rusher and yesterday during the game, he was able to get to the quarterback."
Thomas recorded three tackles for a loss. Jackson made two total tackles and Josh Frazier assisted a tackle for loss. The trio helped lead the West to a 28-6 win.
Jackson's ready for the next level
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