Newcomer Profile - Akeem Jackson

Profiling New Jersey defensive back Akeem Jackson.

Akeem Jackson
Defensive Back, 6-0, 190 lbs., 4.5
Elizabeth High, Elizabeth, N.J.

A linebacker in high school, he is expected to start his Mountaineer career at safety … has the build to be able to gain weight and move up to the spur or bandit spot or possibly an outside linebacker.

Played at Elizabeth High, one of New Jersey's largest schools, for head coach Jerry Moore, a West Virginia native who is a legend in the Garden state coaching ranks … WVU has been the beneficiary of a number of Elizabeth High talents over the years (including former cornerback Tommy Orr and wide receiver Juan Jones), as a strong tie with Moore has been built.

Former WVU running back Tom Gray and wide receiver Wayne Brown both also played for Moore when he coached at Somerville (N.J.) High … Moore believes Jackson will fit in well in WVU's secondary.

"I really think he could play either (outside linebacker or safety) position in college," said Moore. "He's definitely fast enough to play strong safety, but he's tough, too. There's no doubt he can run well enough to play in the secondary. A lot of our alignments had him covering the tight end and running backs man-to-man, and he did that well."

Was an all-state player at linebacker in his senior season … registered 68 tackles, nine sacks, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries … named first-team all-Union Jersey defense … named first-team all-region and all-Group 4.

Brothers Malik and Jamil both excelled on the football field for Rutgers University … Akeem was named an all-American by both SuperPrep and PrepStar … as a running back on the offensive side of the ball, he rushed for over 700 yards this year after totaling 750 yards and 10 TDs as a junior … picked West Virginia over Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rutgers and Georgia Tech.

Jackson also excels in wrestling as well as football, achieving first-team all-county honors on the mat this past season … plans to major in business … son of Johnnie and Deborah Jackson.

What Rich Rodriguez says: "Akeem Jackson is a young man from Elizabeth High School. You may know his coach, Jerry Moore, who is a West Virginian. We had recruited Elizabeth before, but it had been a while since we got anyone from that school, so it's nice to get someone again. Tommy Orr was from there. His brothers, Malik and Jamil, both played at Rutgers. Akeem is going to start out at a strong safety, but if he grows like his brothers, he'll grow into a linebacker pretty quick. He's a very good athlete and very active."

What Herb Hand says: "Akeem Jackson comes from a great high school football program, and he's also an excellent wrestler. If you go to his wrestling practice and watch him, you would take him just off of that just because of the way he works. But he's also a great football player, very active, very athletic."



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