Five-star 2017 offensive tackle Austin Jackson from Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon tells Scout that he has added yet another major college scholarship offer.
Jackson says, "Nebraska just offered me."
He adds, "I talked to Coach Cavanaugh and had a really good talk and came away with an offer. We really just talked a lot about myself as a player and I told him a lot about myself and what I was interested in academically and athletically. He also broke down what he liked about my film and things I could improve on."
Jackson also has offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Cal, USC, Texas A&M, Auburn, Oregon, Boston College, Arizona, Louisville, Michigan, Utah, Washington, Washington State and Arizona State.
Here is a breakdown of Jackson:
Size. It doesn't make a player but it helps project a player's development and his ceiling. You don't see any 6-foot-1 offensive tackles playing Power Five football do you? Jackson is a legit 6-foot-5 plus and weighs in the 270 pound range. Jackson has an athletic build and a thick lower half. By no means is he maxed out. There is still a lot of room to develop and grown. He will easily be 300+ pounds.
Coming with that size, Jackson has tremendously long arms. Exactly what you need in a tackle prospect. Arm length is important for a variety of reasons but the basic is to maintain separation between him and the defenders both in the run and pass game.
Athletic Ability. Jackson has a basketball background. Typically basketball players have good feet and that is true of Jackson. In basketball, players are asked to move laterally to defend and must keep a good base. Pass protection in football isn't much different. Obviously there is more contact involved but the fundamentals are similar.
When you watch Jackson's film, he shows tremendous athletic ability. He plays with great knee bend and can really run on pulls and screens. While he will play tackle in college, I like high school players that can contribute and be solid defensive players, Jackson starts both ways. There is also a clip on film of him catching a pass at tight end.
Flexibility. I mentioned above that he plays with great knee bend, not an easy thing to do for taller players. Getting 6-foot-6 under the pads of shorter defensive linemen is vital to get movement in the run game.
Mean Streak. When you watch young football players (remember that Jackson was just a sophomore last year), especially big kids, they are tentative and/or timid. This is not Jackson. He will finish blocks, knock kids down and is not afraid. Sure, he could be more physical, but it truly is not an issue.
There are always things to work on, even from a five-star player. Jackson needs to add some size and strength, but that will come. Not many high school sophomores are college ready. Also because of his basketball background, he spends the winters on the court. Imagine what he will do once he focuses solely on football in college. The size and strength will come. He is still raw from a technique standpoint but I look at that as a good thing, he will only get better. I mentioned above that I want to see him finish more, but I also think that will come as he gains strength.
Bottom line is that Jackson is the total package. He has an elite level skill set and also is an excellent student that maintains above a 3.0 grade-point-average.