Jackson could be a steal for the Tigers

There have been some good linebacker prospects in Louisiana over the years and Washington Marion-Lake Charles product Brandon Jackson (6-1, 225, 4.5) is in that same mold.<br><br>He draws comparisons to former LSU linebacker Trev Faulk and current Lombardi Award finalist Bradie James.<br><br>But the comparisons do not end there.

"He has all of the tools and his frame is similar to Bradie's and Trev's when they were in high school," said Washington Marion coach Lamar Thomas. "Bradie has put on a lot of muscle and Brandon can do the same. He is definitely the best linebacker I have ever coached."

 

Jackson plays middle linebacker for Thomas and it would be hard to find someone that has been as consistent as he has been during his prep career. He has totaled more than 100 tackles the last two years and with 90 stops going into the ninth week of play, he should once again break the century mark. Add a district MVP award to his list of accomplishments and it is easy to see why some of the nation's top schools are trying to schedule him for a visit.

 

Jackson said his top four schools are LSU, Tennessee, Virginia and Miami, although he also has offers from Arkansas and Tulane. LSU is the only school out of his top four that has offered him a scholarship, but all of that will soon change since he has made so much progress in the classroom.

 

"I like the way LSU's linebackers play," Jackson said. "They move them around a lot. You never know where someone is going to come from. They can blitz a corner, a safety, a linebacker - you just never know. You can't anticipate who is going to blitz."

 

Most schools were skeptical of Jackson because of his academics, but he now has the grade point average to play as a freshman and he just recently took the standardized test for the second time. He only needs to make up a couple of points and then the offers should start rolling in.

 

Despite the lack of attention from coaches and recruiters, Jackson has stayed positive through the recruiting hardship.

 

"I don't think it affected him much because he is the type of kid that loves the game and he goes out and gives it all," Thomas said. "He is not the type of kid to let that bother him. He is going to do whatever it takes to be successful."

 

Tennessee and Virginia will get an official visit sometime in November and LSU coach Mike Haywood is in the process of setting up an official visit to Baton Rouge, according to Jackson.

 

Jackson said he is open to all of the schools he mentioned and a decision would not come until after his senior season and it could even take longer than that for him to make up his mind.

 

Good speed and great instincts are two qualities coach Nick Saban wants in his linebackers and Jackson would be a great compliment to freshman linebacker Cameron Vaughn in Saban's program.

 

"Brandon has a combination of very good speed and he has a nose for the ball," Thomas said. "He has great instincts and is a sure tackler. Once he draws a beat on the ball carrier, you can bet on that guy going down.

 

"The big thing with him is that he closes to the football as well as any linebacker I've ever seen. He is the heart of our defense and without him we would not be as good as we are. He allows us to do so many things because he secures the middle for us."

 

Haywood has had a chance to scout Jackson for the past five years when he would attend LSU's summer football camp. He has never been to a Tiger game but he has seen the inside of Tiger Stadium plenty of times. However, he knows it is nothing like it was when he saw it for a spring game and that it can get loud in Death Valley on a Saturday night.

 

"The stadium is huge," he said. "It gets crazy in there during the season. The fans go nuts."

 

Saban has directed a transformation of LSU's defense from one of the worst in the country to its No. 1 ranking that it currently has. All of that hard work has paid off for current Tigers but it has made quite a strong impression on the high school players from around the state.

 

"They are on their way to a championship," Jackson said. "You can just tell by the way the players play for coach Saban. His team always has a good work ethic."

Working is something that never bothered Jackson before and if he continues to work hard then he will probably follow James to the NFL in four or five years.


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