Ashton Jackson Shines At Friday Night Lights

Trotwood-Madison is always a powerhouse in the state of Ohio. So it is no surprise the Illini have recruited that program extensively. Besides two upcoming seniors already committed to the Orange and Blue, the Illini have offers out to at least four younger players, all of whom visited campus for Friday Night Lights. 2014 running back Ashton Jackson stood out at the camp.

Ashton Jackson tied for the fastest 40 time of 4.4 at the Friday Night Lights camp at Illinois June 8. That is blazing speed for a young running back, but he says there is more to his game than just speed.

"I have speed, but I can run over some people too. I can do both. My strength is my breakaway speed and my aggressiveness running the ball."

Jackson rushed for over 1,000 yards and scored 17 touchdowns for Trotwood-Madison as a sophomore. Not bad considering he was playing behind high-flying Israel Green all season. He's working hard to add to his game.

"I want to work on keeping my feet, keeping my balance."

Listed at 5'-9", 184 at the Illini camp, he also ran a blistering 3.94 shuttle. It is no surprise the Illini have already offered him a scholarship, and he takes the offer seriously.

"I'm considering the University of Illinois, most definitely."

Jackson and several teammates arrived on campus Friday in time to take a tour of campus. He was impressed.

"It was great. It's a big campus, and it's nice too. I like the size of the campus, and they've got a nice Criminal Justice program here."

Illini coaches Steve Clinkscale and Tim Salem are the primary recruiters for Jackson. Football comes ahead of all other reasons for selecting his college.

"I'm looking for a school with a nice big line. I prefer the 'I,' but I can adjust to anything."

Despite teammates selecting a variety of schools, Jackson plans an independent course for his future.

"Whatever place suits me, that's where I'm going. I'm not going to follow anybody in particular."

Jackson has offers from Toledo and Purdue in addition to Illinois, but his recruitment is far from over. Several other top schools are lurking behind the scenes.

"I'm hearing from Ohio State, Michigan and Tennessee. Those are the big ones."

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