Hersey Jackson (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) is just starting his junior year, but he's already building a reputation as one of the top running back in the 2009 recruiting class. Allendale head coach Ben Burk.
"What is it about him… everything," coach Burk responded when asked why Hersey Jackson was a special running back. "He's a special player. He seems like he's bigger, stronger and faster every time that I go to practice. He's got excellent speed for a player in our area, and he's got very good speed for a national recruit. He ran a laser timed 4.55 at the Wisconsin camp this summer. That's a legitimate time. For us that's excellent speed.
"He's a big back, but he can do everything. He makes great reads on the fly. He runs people over, he runs around people, he makes people miss. He can cut back and reverse field and do all the things that special players can do. There aren't many kids that we play against or have ever had here that can do the things that he does. He's just a special player."
Burk has watched Jackson develop into the player he is now, and Burk thought there was something special about Hersey from day one.
"He started for as back in his freshman year," coach Burk explained. "He has a cousin that plays for us as well. Those two played ‘Rocket' football together and everyone would talk about how special they were, but you never really know until you actually get them into high school.
"At the end of his eighth grade year, he was too big to carry the football, so his eighth grade year he had to be an offensive lineman in Rocket. He came up and practiced with us three days a week so he could carry the ball during football season. He'd work on our Scout team.
"Then when he came in as a freshman he was as big and strong as any senor that we've ever had," coach Burk said. "He rushed for over 1,000 yards as a freshman and he was an all-conference player. He'll be a four-year 1st-team all conference player.
"Last year he played a little tailback, but he spent most of his time at fullback. I think he had 19-21 touchdowns, 1,800 yards rushing yards and averaged about eleven yards a carry. I really didn't involve the backs in the passing game much last year. We still have him for two more years though.
"We're a multiple set offense, but we're really a triple-option team," coach Burk said. "Because of our offense, I don't know who is going to get the ball on 80 percent of the plays. The defense decides who gets the ball based on what they do. I can't guarantee how many carries [Jackson] gets a game. There were some games where he only had seven carries, but he ended up with 200 yards."
Jackson is already receiving recruiting information from some of the top football programs in the nation and coach Burk has had a number of schools inquire about him.
"He's getting mail from Notre Dame and they've talked to us," Burk said. "I know my assistant coach has spoken with the Notre Dame coaches. I think he spoke with Charlie Weis at one of the camps. I've talked to the Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin.
"He hasn't been to Notre Dame's camp, but he did a tour of different schools this summer. He hit a bunch for one day, Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and a couple others I believe. We're getting letters from Iowa, but we've talked to a bunch of schools on the phone.
"He is open to wherever the best fit for him" coach Burk explained. "He's looking to get the best education and he wants a school that's going to take care of him as a person and not just as a football player. He's going to make the best decision for him. I think he grew up a Michigan fan, but he's not set on going to Michigan."