Marquis Jackson prepped at Lake Balboa Birmingham High School and, together with his twin brother Malik Jackson, anchored the Patriots' defensive line. As a senior, Marquis recorded 87 tackles and was the second-leading sack leader with nine. He also had five pass deflections and led his squad with three fumble recoveries.
He tried to fulfill his dream playing together with Malik when they both verbally committed to Fresno State (Malik later on de-committed in favor of USC). However, he wasn't able to qualify academically, which led him to sign with the College of the Canyons.
As a freshman at the College of the Canyons, the 6-4, 235-pound Jackson earned not only All-Conference and All-State, but State Defensive Player of the Year honors, as he recorded 60 tackles, 10.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles-for-loss. He played both the weak and strong side, and mentioned that his preference playing the later position over the tight end.
"I do a good job keeping offensive linemen off of me and getting to the quarterback," he said of his skills. "I do a good job with my hands, my footwork and jumping off the ball. What I need to work on is recognizing different offensive packages.
"Coming out of high school I had to adjust to the speed of the game, but I think I did pretty good my freshman year."
Even though the majority of the schools recruiting Jackson reside on the west coast, the defensive end doesn't have a strong preference to stay close to home and/or play in the Pac-10.
"I'm trying to explore all my options and take my visits before I decide," Jackson commented. "I'm looking for a school that will give me good exposure that plays in a good conference. I want to play for good coaches that can critique my game and help me get to the next level."
Jackson is on track to graduate in December and he'll have three years to play two. He realizes the high value that colleges put on signing a mid-year transfer, and his motivation on the field carries over to the classroom as he works on achieving his academic goal.
"Getting to a school in the spring and getting used to everything before the season starts will really help me," Jackson explained. "I'm gonna have so many credits in summer school it's not even funny. Junior college isn't where I'm supposed to be and I have to make the best of it and do what I need to do to graduate early and play D-I football."