Jackson Takes a Closer Look

The first in-state sophomore to receive a scholarship offer, Kenosha Bradford's Vonte Jackson earned it with his performance at Wisconsin camp. Before heading out for more camps, Jackson and his family took a closer look at Madison on Friday.

MADISON - Having such a good experience at Wisconsin's high school summer camp, Vonte Jackson couldn't wait to head back for another taste.

A relative unknown heading into the summer camp circuit, the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Jackson earned his first offer from Wisconsin in late June, becoming the first 2012 prospect from the state of Wisconsin to earn a scholarship offer.

A week later, Jackson made it a point to return to Madison with my parents to have some discussions with Head Coach Bret Bielema and Running Back Coach John Settle.

"It was a chance for me to get to known the coaches a little more, see the campus and talk about recruiting," Jackson told Badger Nation. "Coach Bielema said he really wanted me to take my time with my decision. He thinks I am going to get a lot more offers, probably 10 or more after my junior year because of my academics and athletic ability."

While Bielema talked recruiting, Settle talked more about the running back position and what Jackson could bring to the backfield for Wisconsin.

"He's a great coach for starters," Jackson said. "He's been in the league (NFL), so he's played at the highest level. Being coached by someone that has played on Sundays, you can't have a better coach than that.

"We watched a little film and he would go over plays and point out things that he could use me at. He talked about how he could use my speed to make the team better."

Jackson also met with a professor from the Wisconsin's School of Pharmacy. An honor roll student with a 3.9 GPA, Jackson is hoping to major in science.

"He went over the whole profession and what it's like to be a pharmacist, the amount of jobs and how flexible it is," Jackson said. "He was really informative. Wisconsin has one of the top schools in the nation for that."

Although he only started on kick return and registering 20 carries for 133 yards and two touchdowns as a third-down back on the varsity level, Jackson's intangibles in summer camp spoke for itself. Not only did Jackson register a 10-foot broad jump, Jackson turned in a 4.41 40-yard dash on the stopwatch.

"I was definitely excited to get the first one," Jackson said. "I am still young and hopefully I can get more, but it's definitely excited to show what I can do."

Jackson is just one of the many talented athletes on Kenosha Bradford's roster being courted by Wisconsin. The Badgers have already extended an offer to Bradford starting running back Melvin Gordon and cornerback Trae Waynes, both 2011 athletes and both are Jackson's good friends.

"Competing with Melvin at the running back position makes me a better player because there's nothing better than competing against the best player in the state," Jackson said. "They both have amazing work ethics, which carry on to me."

Along with Wisconsin, Jackson has sparked interest from Michigan State, Northwestern, Ohio State and Vanderbilt. After camping at Ohio State, Jackson is heading to Michigan State Monday, Northwestern the 23rd and Vanderbilt the 29th.

"I want to Vanderbilt and Northwestern for academic reasons and a lot of my teammates are going to Michigan State," Jackson said. "When I get back (from Vanderbilt), it will be time to start fall camp with our one goal in mind of a state championship."

Jackson also put together a standout performance at the Nike Combine in Chicago where he posted 100.29 rating - the top SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction and Quickness) rating for the class of 2012 and the tenth best overall out of 968 prospects.

The final number was generated with a 4.59 laser-timed 40-yard dash, 4.29 shuttle, 39.3-inch vertical jump and 34-foot power ball toss.

"It was my first time actually competing," Jackson said. "It was the first time I got my name out there. I actually got a little article written about me."

Without question, Jackson's name will be appearing frequently in the months to come.

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