9 interceptions last year, 19 on his career and doing it all within the confines of competition-heavy Florida High School football, Kyle has already done enough to make a name for himself. Well, he's looking to do more. "My coach said the record for interceptions for the school was like 10." Kyle said. "So, this year, I am going for 11."
11 interceptions for a cornerback is an amazing feet, but for a safety, that's almost miraculous. Kyle described how he as a safety has been so successful in taking the ball from the opponent. "I am able to read the play pretty much before it even happens." Kyle said. "When I was little, I played linebacker and quarterback, so now that I am older, I think that experience has given me kind of an edge at free safety."
At the safety position, it's not indicative of that position to read the quarterback like you would expect from any quality DB. Kyle says that this style of his isn't just a product of experience, but the way he mentally approaches the game. "I am very aggressive." he said. "That hurts me sometimes, but that's how you make the big play and that's what I like to do."
A propensity for the big play equals things like interceptions, but as much as Kyle likes taking the ball away from the opponent, he's just as happy smacking any of the other guys that happen to have the ball and are unfortunate enough to be in his line of sights. It's at that time where satisfaction from a big play turns into elation from a bone-crushing yet, something almost as rewarding. "You just want to crush them." Kyle said of when that golden opportunity arises. "I want the crowd to cringe I hit them so hard."
This is a point that can be beaten like a dead horse, but as appropriate as it for big-time defensive players, it begs repeating. It's attitude and on defense, you have to have that attitude that you can't be beat and all you think about is beating the other guy up and down. It's basically putting it, a defensive player's mentality. Kyle's got that in abundance. "I'm good off the field, but my dad always taught me that when you put that helmet on, you got to get nasty." Kyle said.
The ability to grab balls at such a prolific pace along with his size (6'1" - 180 lbs) and speed (4.58/40) make him ideal for any team, but if you take a look at his list of those that have offered him, most of them aren't just "any" teams, but some of "the" teams. Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Nebraska are just a few that have offered Kyle in writing, Jackson stating that he has 14 total right now.
That's a lot of opportunities, a lot of schools that have put on paper their desire for his services in the future. As I said in the intro., it can give you two schools of thought in what you want to do, get it over with now or wait until perhaps even more offers come or at the very least, you can study the offers you have already. Kyle takes the latter view. "I'm dedicated to taking all five of my officials." he said. "I am going to let this play out and make my decision after my visits, probably after the end of the season."
Kyle said that of his list of teams looking at him, he's looking at everyone as he states when trying to consider favorites right now, "I have absolutely no idea. People tell me I should already know, but I am enjoying this, so if they keep coming, I'll make my decision during or after the season, I don't know."
Jackson actually had a great analogy that I had never heard when it comes to why he's holding off making his decision, one that is not only clever, but perfect as well. "It's like watching TV." he said. "If you only have two channels, you already know what you want to watch, but if you have cable and a couple hundred channels, it takes a lot longer to figure out what channel you like."
"That's how I look at this whole recruiting deal, so I am not in that big of a rush, because it has to be the right decision for me in the end."
I would have to agree there, because let's face it, stop on the wrong channel and instead of watching the Super Bowl, you could get stuck on an infomercial about the Atkins Diet plan and nobody wants that.
So, as Kyle goes though the season, he will be flipping through the channels of which schools he wants to attend, figuratively speaking of course. I know most expect him to stop somewhere on the Sunshine Network, but he's not out of bounds with Fox Sports Midwest or even Rocky Mountain. He's got his remote, a cold myoplex protein shake and a whole lot of time.
Time that everyone else will spend watching him as well.
Steve Ryan can be reached at email@example.com or 402-730-5619
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