19 in 19: DL/LB Myles Jackson

Henderson Senior High School (West Chester, Pa.) product Myles Jackson is the next stop in our "19 in 19" series. Jackson committed to Rutgers in December after an official visit. ScarletReport.com caught up with the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder to discuss preparations for college and his anticipated position upon arrival.

Myles Jackson's transition to defensive end his senior year in high school was a major factor in Rutgers' interest in him. The Rutgers coaching staff told him they like him as a pass-rusher, not a linebacker, and that is where Jackson is preparing to play.

"The coaching staff decided it more than me," Jackson said. "I played 3-4 outside linebacker my junior year and then we changed schemes when I was a senior. I put my hand on the ground in a 4-3 and Coach Schiano said a big reason why they offered me was because of how improved I was with my hand on the ground."

Defensive end represents a lack of depth after the release of the post-spring two-deep and Jackson hopes to earn immediate playing time at the position.

When Jackson enrolls in June, he plans on arriving in great shape and competing from the first day of training camp.

"That's a big factor in play early or red-shirting so it's something I'm really focused on," Jackson said. "If you show up in great shape, you're going to get more of a chance to play. Being in great cardio shape is huge. You need to be able to keep up with the guys that have been in college programs for years."

The current two-deep includes Justin Francis and Manny Abreu as starters with Jamil Merrell and walk-on Shane Meisner as backups. Behind them, transfer Anthony La Lota is the only other true defensive end on the roster.

"At any position, you have to come ready to compete," Jackson said. "But knowing that there aren't as many guys fighting for spots or established guys definitely adds fuel to the fire and makes you want to work hard and win a job."

After signing his National Letter of Intent, Jackson completed two eight-week work-out programs created by strength and conditioning coach Jay Butler. But that wasn't enough.

Quentin Gause and Jackson become friends after visiting Rutgers together and the pair of workout warriors added things of their own.

"I'm really close with Quentin Gause," he said. "He's spent the night at my house. We spent like three days together at Rutgers. We've worked out together. We went to the spring game together."

Like any incoming freshman, post-practice gassers are a concern for Jackson. He does not want to be the one to inevitably crumble during springs on the first day of training camp.

"That's something I'm trying to prevent," he said. "I have a trainer that works a lot with soccer players. In soccer, that's running for 90 minutes straight. He helps me get my cardio up and with my agility and long-distance running."

Jackson's last trip to Piscataway came during the spring game. He brought up 2012 linebacker Prospect T.J. White from his high school and said he enjoyed another chance to see his future home.

"It was good to talk with Coach Galiano and Coach [Lukabu]," Jackson said. "I talk with both of them a lot and they're both cool guys. Seeing them and some of the guys I'll be playing with at the spring game was awesome."

When Jackson enrolls, he plans to take as many early economics and finance classes as possible. Jackson foresees a future in investment banking on Wall Street.

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