As a junior, Jackson picked off five more passes from his safety spot, but became much more involved in the run game registering 99 tackles for the 4A state champs despite missing a lot of action in the playoffs due to a lingering sickness.
In 2009, that will change, as the 6-3.5, 183-pounder will make the move to corner.
"I've been working out hard getting ready for the season," said Jackson. "We work out Monday through Thursday's. We do upper body and long sprints on Monday's, lower body on Tuesday's, upper body and short sprints on Wednesday and lower body and conditioning on Thursday's. I feel like I've gotten stronger. We have testing next week, but I'm up to 183 pounds. I played the end of the season at 170, but I was sick. I started last season at 175 pounds. I'm moving to corner this year too so I've been working hard on my conditioning and technique. Turning, running and recovering is what I'm working on."
Working on the speed turn and recovery will be key for Jackson after playing the safety spot and playing from over the top as a sophomore and junior. He's making the big move from ball hawk, rangy safety to having the task of taking out an opponent's top receiver.
Texas camp on June 7 was a chance to test his man press against receivers that will be his teammates in the future.
"Texas camp was great. It was great to be around all of the guys in the class and players that will be future teammates. It was also great to work with Coach Akina. I worked out at corner, but the corners and safeties were together really. We worked on press coverage a lot. I went against John Harris and Chris Jones in one on one's. Chris got me once," Jackson said.
Jackson began his junior season as a prospect that caught the eye of some, but wasn't on the national radar in the least. After the run to the state title and a national television game against Wichita Falls Rider, Jackson is now firmly on the national radar ranked #106 in the 2010 class. Jackson has handled his rise up the ranking very well.
"It feels good to be ranked high. It was lucky to be on a good team that won state and had a lot of people watching. I played my role and made as many plays as I could," Jackson said.
As was the case last year, Sulphur Springs will play one of the toughest 4A schedules in the state featuring Whitehouse in non-district play and the toughest district in the 4A ranks featuring Longview, Texas High and Marshall.
Aug. 28 @ Paris
Sep. 4 Whitehouse
Sep. 11 @ Wichita Falls Rider
Sep. 18 @ Mesquite Poteet
Sep. 25 Pine Tree*
Oct. 2 @ Longview*
Oct. 9 Texas High*
Oct. 23 @ Mount Pleasant*
Oct. 30 Marshall*
Nov. 6 @ Hallsville*
* 14-4A district game