An Offer Jackson Wanted

Continuing to try and make a presence in the state of Florida in his first year recruiting the state, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda targeted Tampa Jesuit linebacker Vincent Jackson as a prospect who could improve his defense.

The state of Florida is mostly new recruiting territory to this Wisconsin staff, but they are laying down some ground work by offering the best of the best in the Sunshine State. Tampa Jesuit linebacker Vincent Jackson was the latest to see the work by receiving a Badgers offer and explains how it all came about.

"Coach Aranda called me (Friday) and offered me," Jackson told Badger Nation. "He just basically told that the whole new coaching staff is new to the area down here. He said it was his first time being down here and had offered some guys around here.

"I told him that I was interested in Wisconsin and it wasn't just another offer. They were one of the first offers that I ever wanted. I just like their tradition and I always watch them come bowl time, so I like them a lot. I just want to see how Madison is and the city, but look forward to building a relationship with them.

"Coach Aranda is a nice guy. I haven't talked to him much like other coaches, but he seems like a nice guy. He knows what he is talking about and he says Wisconsin is a really nice place and he bought into the system quick, which is what he is trying to do to me by buying in as well. I want to visit Wisconsin and I had a counselor's daughter go there, so I have heard good things about the school."

Before the "Big Three" of the Miami Heat, Florida had its own of Florida, Florida State and Miami. Those three schools over the years buckled down on keeping the top talent in the state. Jackson on the other hand feels the opposite.

"I am really open to leaving the state," he said. "That is probably what I will end up doing, but I'm not 100 percent sure on that yet. I like out-of-state schools and there are a few in-state that are nice, but the others not in Florida are just as good."

The 6-3, 240-pound linebacker finished the past season with 78 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks and had 16 carries rushing for 81 yards on offense. He has a versatile style of play and talks about that flexibility to his game.

"I am more of a person that likes to hit people first," said Jackson. "I love hitting, so whether it is offense or defense I want to hit someone. I also actually like making plays during the game wherever I'm at to help my team win. I went to running back to help my team and I used to play tight end, so I go anywhere on the field just to help the team. I am very versatile and can play six different positions, but most colleges are recruiting me at linebacker."

Jackson currently sits as the No. 50 outside linebacker in the nation by Fox Sports Next and a three-star recruit. Jackson recently narrowed down his choices to a top 12, but the list is still fluid with offers still rolling in.

"I released a top 12 not to long ago, but Wisconsin is in it somewhat," he said. "That is what I told Coach Aranda. The top list is all schools that have offered me already. That is the main reason I took LSU out just because they hadn't offered me yet. It is still changing. When I put it out, I told people that it wouldn't be concrete.

"Alabama, Auburn, Oregon and Miami are sticking out to me. I like those schools a lot because they are showing a lot of interest, but I have no leaders at this time."

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