Making Up For Lost Time

This Pennsylvania wide receiver is taking advantage of some West Virginia ties in learning about the WVU program, and the early interest could help him overcome a lack of playing time as a junior to earn a scholarship offer.

Kiski Prep's Jeff Jackson, a shifty receiver with a good vertical jump and solid ball skills, took in West Virginia's home opener last Saturday.

"I got to eat with the players, and then we took a tour of the weight room and stadium," he reported. "I really like the stadium. It was a great atmosphere. And the players were really good with me too. They just seemed like a bunch of good guys, and that goes for the coaches too. The coaches were very friendly.

"I had been down for junior day, but this was the first time I had seen a game there. I never experienced anything like that. It was great."

Jackson, who battled his previous coaches for playing time, was happy to see West Virginia alumnus Harvey Smith take the reins this year. Jackson waited behind seniors on last year's team, and didn't get the playing time he felt he deserved. This year, with Smith taking him under his wing, he says things are better – and he hopes to get the chance to show college recruiters that he has the ability to play at the top of Division I.

"Sometimes I do feel like I'm behind a little bit in the recruiting process," he admitted. "I look at other guys with offers, and I think I could be right up there with them. That's why it's a blessing that Coach Smith came here. We hit it off pretty quickly, and he has told me just to concentrate on my senior year and play my best."

Smith has told Jackson "a couple of stories" about his days at West Virginia, but isn't pushing him too hard. Jackson knows that he has to get through several games this year and put together film for college coaches to look at.

"I talked with Coach Johnson at West Virginia, and he said he wants to see my film," said Jackson. "I do like West Virginia, so I will be sending them film once I get it put together."

While waiting for his chance at wideout, Jackson played some defensive back as a junior, and is going both ways during his senior season. He believes his abilities, however, are more suited for the offensive side of the ball.

"I ran a hand-timed 4.4, and I can get off the ball quickly," he said in detailing his strengths. "My vertical is 29 inches, so I can get up to the ball too. I think I would fit well in West Virginia's offense. Last year, I played an outside receiver, but this year I am moving inside, so I think I have the versatility to play anywhere in that kind of offense."

NOTES

Jackson has not made any other visits yet, but will likely make a few more to area schools during the fall.

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With an eye toward academics, Jackson also likes West Virginia's attention to that aspect of college life.

"The coaches are very concerned about education too. They have a study hall open 24 hours, and assistance if you need it. I am all about that. I want to major in business, and academics are very important to me."


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