At San Leandro (Calif.) San Leandro High School, Jermaine Jackson proudly wears the red, white and blue school colors on his helmet during Friday nights in the fall.
He’ll be wearing another red, white and blue uniform soon – as the 5-foot-8, 160-pound Class of 2018 prospect was named to the USA Football Under 19s team earlier this year.
“I showed out and made it,” Jackson told Scout. “I was playing against some good guys out there. Some guys didn’t make it or left, but I was honored to be a part of that team.”
Jackson is known in Alameda County as a diminutive weapon at the disposal of the Pirates – one who triples as an elusive running back, deadly slot wide receiver and energetic cornerback.
But it’s his explosive plays through carrying the football that has gotten the likes of San Jose State, Cal Poly and Sacramento State interested. Jackson – who runs a reported 40-yard dash time of 4.6 – bursts through a hole like a rock leaving a slingshot, then zig zags around two to three defenders with his foot speed and plant and go ability. He tallied 1,324 all-purpose yards during his junior season – 630 of them through the ground.
With his size, however, Jackson is giving the slot receiver spot a try. He’s utilized as a slot playmaker through his club team Xclusive Speed, which is based out of the Oakland area. He recently showed his perimeter play-making ability at the Passing Down Northern California regional on April 9 at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg (Calif.), accelerating past man coverage and creating space underneath for his offense.
Jackson, who cites former Washington star John Ross as one of his favorite players, tells Scout that he loves the fact he can use his slippery slide as an inside receiver.
“I think I’m most dangerous in the slot. I’m a slippery person and I’m hard to get to. And I got great routes from the slot,” Jackson said. “I’m still working on my routes, though.”
Of the three schools he’s interacted with, he’s become fond of the nearby Mountain West university.
“They’re recruiting a lot of people from the Bay Area,” Jackson said. “So maybe I’ll get a good chance to get an offer. I’m just hoping and praying.”
Jackson adds that he met the new SJSU staff during one of the recent spring practices. He holds no reported scholarship offers as of April 9.