Summer Top 50 - No. 27 Donte Jackson

TSD's countdown of the top 50 LSU players for 2015 reaches its highest-rated true freshman at No. 27 in versatile playmaker Donte Jackson.

Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown comes to our highest-ranked true freshman at No. 27, potential three-phase player Donte Jackson.


At LSU it's nothing new for freshmen to play right away. The Tigers are annually among the tops in the country under Les Miles when it comes to getting first-year players to the field, a season ago starting the likes of Leonard Fournette, Davon Godchaux, Jamal Adams and two different rookie receivers. So for Jackson to be the lead freshmen in this countdown, you know he's got special abilities.

So gifted - and fast - is Jackson, a Riverdale product, that Miles said on National Signing Day LSU aims to get him involved in year one on offense and special teams in addition to his expected duties as a cornerback. The two players he's been associated with when it comes to comparisons are Patrick Peterson and Adoree Jackson, further hinting at Jackson's potential.

The five-star prospect has a chance to make an impact in multiple areas - as a dime back in sub packages, as a scat back taking handoffs and catching passes from the backfield, and returning kicks of punts. Because of this swiss-army-knife-style versatility, there's plenty of reason to believe in Jackson. Especially if recently arrested DB Dwayne Thomas misses any games, Jackson's chances of getting to the field on defense improve dramatically.


Jackson is on the slighter side, reporting to campus several weeks ago at 5-foot-11, 168 pounds. Strength and conditioning coordinator Tommy Moffitt indicated in a recent interview that Jackson is already up 13 pounds in a few weeks in Baton Rouge, but still he will need to bulk up some more to survive the pounding that is inherent to SEC play.

There's also, as with the rest of the freshmen, competition standing in his way. The whole three-phase thing sounds good, but LSU has qualified, experienced options in all three instances. Jackson must prove he's better.

Defensively Thomas is the dime back if and when he's reinstated to the team. On offense the Tigers can turn to a tailback like Derrius Guice (No. 29 on TSD's countdown) for a change of pace. And on special teams, it'll all depend if Miles & Co. still want Fournette running back kicks (while Tre'Davious White figures to be the punt returner again). None of this is to say Jackson can't provide a better option, but the blazing-fast youngster now has to go out and earn it in practice.

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