Signee Update: Joseph Jackson

North Carolina signee Joseph Jackson doesn't expect to wait long to see the field for the Tar Heels.

"The coaches expect me to come in and play," the Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast product said. "I just want to compete and give everything my all. It's a big accomplishment to be able to come into college and get on the field in my first year, because a lot of freshmen don't get an opportunity to be able to do that.

"Being able to do that would be great because I think my high school coaches and family would really be proud of me."

Larry Fedora has brought a 4-2-5 defense to UNC, which utilizes a hybrid linebacker/safety position labeled the Ram. The belief is that the Ram position fits Jackson's abilities and experience to a 'T.'

"I played linebacker in high school, but my position was a lot like what I'll be doing at Carolina," Jackson said. "It's sort of like a nickel back but I still have linebacker responsibilities. So I'll be playing exactly what I'm used to."

Moreover, at 6-foot-2 and 206 pounds Jackson is already the prototypical Ram size. That frame has been conditioned and fine tuned in preparation for his Tar Heel career by following the workout regimen UNC sent him.

"[The regimen] definitely has a lot more [than what I did in high school]," Jackson said. "It focuses on certain parts of your body. You might have seven or eight different workouts that focus on every single part of your body."

Jackson has noticed an increase in his speed and weight. He played his senior football season at 200 pounds, but has since added six pounds of muscle.

Most of Jackson's communication with UNC has been through Dan Disch, the Tar Heels' defensive coordinator. Lately, though, that communication has shifted more to UNC's support staff as Jackson works on the required paperwork for enrollment in the second summer semester.

Outside of medical forms and his final high school transcript, he has sent UNC everything needed. Additionally, Jackson has been deemed qualified by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

Jackson hasn't discussed jersey numbers with UNC's coaching staff, but he said he has his eye on several numbers – No. 8 or something in the 20s. He wore No. 23 at First Coast before switching to No. 2 for his senior season.

UNC has offered three of Jackson's high school teammates from the 2013 class – Seyvon Lowry, Tyrell Lyons, and Daniel McMillan. McMillan committed to Florida shortly after signing day, and Lyons committed to Florida State, but Lowry remains very much in play.

"I talk to them like they're my brothers," Jackson said. "So of course, I want them to go to the school that's best for them. It's not like any other recruit where I want to sell them an idea. But because the changes to the scheme matches the scheme we run, they actually fit into North Carolina's scheme really, really well. So I'm trying to create a pipeline to North Carolina.

"It's actually working out with Seyvon really, really well, because he's leaning hard to North Carolina. I wouldn't be surprised to see him commit in the next couple of months."

Joseph Jackson Profile


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