Bring 'Em On!

Vernon Jackson might not be the biggest guy on the field at his defensive tackle position, but you'd be hard pressed to find a player who had a better season at that position.

Five-star offensive lineman Matt Hardrick can tell you about it, as he was moved inside to guard for their game in order to block Jackson.

"He keeps coming at you full speed every play," Hardrick said. "He never stops. He's got a good motor. He's quick, he's strong, and he plays with good leverage. We went at it all night and he was the best player I faced all year."

Jackson, 6-1 and 255 pounds, was his team's leading tackler and sack artist all season. He talked about that same matchup.

"Matt's a big recruit but I didn't care," he said. "He's like 6-6 so it was tough for him to stay low enough. I went at him all night. I figured the best thing to do was hit him and hit him hard and that's what I did. He's real strong but wasn't real hard, you know. The colleges will train him up and he will probably be a great right tackle someday but I had a good night against him. I wish I could go up against a guy like that every week. He's good competition."

Jackson, a full qualifier, finished the year with 72 tackles and nine sacks. He's now wrestling and getting ready for weightlifting season. Last year, he finished in the top five. "I'm going for the title this year," he said.

On the recruiting front, Jackson recently picked up his first two offers. However, that is only the beginning.

"I got offered by Georgia Tech and Memphis," he said. "My top four right now are Florida, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Georgia Tech. I've been talking to them a lot and just need to set the dates for those visits. They all said they're gonna come see me starting in December when the coaches can hit the road."

Jackson got a recruiting call from UM in the spring, was invited to camp, and then received a few calls during the early part of the season. However, he seems to have fallen off the list.

"Coach Soldinger was calling but then he stopped," he said. "I guess they went in another direction so they're not on my list anymore."

The talented lineman said he's not going to bother reviewing depth charts when it comes time for a decision.

"It really doesn't matter," he said. "Everyone will have guys at my position. Some will be good, some won't. I've noticed a lot of guys who are big in high school and can dominate based on size alone have a tough time in college because everyone's as big and the O-Linemen are much better with technique and everything. Some people say I'm a little small. They'll see how small I am in four years. Ask your boy Hardrick if I'm too small. I'm hungry man. I'm gonna eat it up in college. I want the coaches to push me and challenge me. I wanna line up next to the best guy they have. Bring it on."

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