IN THE HUDDLE: Devin Jackson

Whether it's at camps, summer practices or the occasional combine that is being put on this time of year, new stars of the Florida gridiron emerge. Here is one of those athletes who has been getting plenty of attention at every stop he's made this summer.

During the summer and into the season, www.floridakids.us will bring you our IN THE HUDDLE segments with football players throughout the state of Florida.

These are similar to the evaluations we pass on to the hundreds of colleges who visit our website, call us on the phone and correspond via e-mail.

Here is another top football player to keep an eye on this season – and beyond.

PLAYER: Devin Jackson
POSITION: OLB/DE
SCHOOL: Kissimmee Poinciana
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 255
40 SPEED: 4.56
HEAD COACH: Keith Simmons
www.floridakids.us Pre-Spring Rating: Not rated

Last spring, as I fielded calls from a number of college coaches each day, asking me my opinion on some of the players in the state of Florida, there was one coach who had asked me if I knew of any standouts in the Kissimmee area.

While the area has long produced some of the top athletes in the state, there weren't any who jumped right out at me. After talking with a few coaches from the area, the name Devin Jackson came up. Many were going on about his size, quickness and athletic ability.

"The kid is like a perfect defensive end, but much faster," said one Midwest college defensive coordinator. "I watched him in practice during the spring, and I feel someone is missing out on a potential standout football player."

As I made calls to the school, trying to get some tape on this impressive football player, I kept thinking that maybe I should go up and check him out and see for myself what kind of football player we are talking about.

At the University of Miami Camp, a few of the campers that I knew kept telling me about this kid from the Orlando area who was impressive and very big for a linebacker. They found out the following day that his name was Devin Jackson, and he was impressive, running, lifting (350 bench) and could make plays.

While at the Down ‘N Dirty Linemen Camp at St. Leo University, I finally had the pleasure of watching this talented athlete up close and in person as he and his teammate Edgardo Salgado (6-3, 265) braved the heat, heavy rains and tough field conditions to back up what everyone had been saying. Save the film, I am sold on his athletic ability - alone!

STRENGTHS: Strength, quickness and the ability read a play from start to finish. His athletic ability gives him an honest chance to get to every play on the field.

While some may doubt his speed, all I have to say is watch him run. This is someone with very good size and the ability to create from his linebacker position.

Even in pass coverage, he will surprise you with his ability to get back quickly.

WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: Make no mistake that when he gets to that next level, any college coach will put his hand down and send him after the quarterback on every play. His quickness and strength give him an edge on playing the position.

I just don't see him at a linebacker position at the next level.

OVERALL: What is it about Florida that has athletes like this flying way under the radar screen? While many colleges have noticed him and have already started to send him letters and talk about what he needs to do, there are others who haven't watched him play.

This is a football player who not only plays hard, but has the respect of everyone who plays along with him, and that's the most impressive endorsement anyone can receive.

COLLEGES ON THE HORIZON: While his parents lived a long time in South Miami, the trip to the University of Miami Camp was not a waste. He opened some eyes and coaches who were on hand have started to talk with other schools.

Get IN THE HUDDLE with some more of Florida's emerging stars:
IN THE HUDDLE: MARK ALLEN - ST. CLOUD HARMONY
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON LOVE – PALM BEACH GARDENS DWYER
IN THE HUDDLE: CORY MATHIS – LAKELAND GEORGE JENKINS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKIHE ANDERSON – FORT MYERS DUNBAR
IN THE HUDDLE: TONY WILSON – DAYTONA BEACH MAINLAND
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRY WILLIAMS – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVARRIS JAMES – IMMOKALEE
IN THE HUDDLE: IAN EVANS – CLEARWATER COUNTRYSIDE
IN THE HUDDLE: TERRON SANDERS – BRADENTON SOUTHEAST
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL WENGER – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: DEANDRE MCDANIEL – TALLAHASSEE GODBY
IN THE HUDDLE: ORLANDO FRANKLIN – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: TRAVIUS THOMPSON –LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON THOMPKINS –PALM BEACH LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSH LONG –FORT MYERS
IN THE HUDDLE: DARON ROSE – TAMPA JEFFERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: MICHAEL JOHNSON – WESTON CYPRESS BAY
IN THE HUDDLE: TANNER JONES – CRAWFORDVILLE WAKULLA
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS UHRIG – TAMPA JESUIT
IN THE HUDDLE: JOSEPH JACKSON – MIAMI BOOKER T. WASHINGTON
IN THE HUDDLE: SAM YOUNG – FORT LAUDERDALE ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
IN THE HUDDLE: MELVIN PATTERSON – ALACHUA SANTA FE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHANCE ATTAWAY – BLOUNTSTOWN
IN THE HUDDLE: GEORGE ROBINSON – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: TIMOTHY BROWN – MIAMI NORTHWESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: XAVIER HARRIS – FORT LAUDERDALE
IN THE HUDDLE: DANIEL LINCOLN – OCALA FOREST
IN THE HUDDLE: PATRICK ADOLPHE – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: QUINTIN HANCOCK – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: CHARLES DEAS – LAUDERDALE LAKES BOYD ANDERSON
IN THE HUDDLE: DONALD BOWENS – ST. PETERSBURG
IN THE HUDDLE: ROBERT LOVE - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: CAZ PIUROWSKI – LAND O'LAKES
IN THE HUDDLE: STERLIN JAMES – SPARR NORTH MARION
IN THE HUDDLE: JOHN WARE – FORT LAUDERDALE CARDINAL GIBBONS
IN THE HUDDLE: MARKEVIOUS POWELL – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: BILLY LOWE - LAKELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: JAVON HILL – MIAMI MONSIGNOR PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: CODY CLINTON – BOCA RATON
IN THE HUDDLE: JARED MARTIN – DAVIE WESTERN
IN THE HUDDLE: COLIN MCCARTHY – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: DONTAE JONES – ORLANDO EVANS
IN THE HUDDLE: DAMON PIFER – GREEN COVE SPRINGS CLAY
IN THE HUDDLE: CHRIS SORCE - PACE
IN THE HUDDLE: SHOMARI GRANT - HIALEAH
IN THE HUDDLE: DARRELL ROSEMAN - DUNEDIN
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES POE – ORLANDO FREEDOM
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN ELLIS – PONTA VEDRA BEACH NEASE
IN THE HUDDLE: COURTNEY JONES: PENSACOLA
IN THE HUDDLE: BRYAN THOMAS - ZEPHYRHILLS
IN THE HUDDLE: JORDAN DALRYMPLE - OVIEDO
IN THE HUDDLE: PRESTON PARKER – DELRAY BEACH ATLANTIC
IN THE HUDDLE: SABBATH JOSEPH – MIAMI CENTRAL
IN THE HUDDLE: RYAN KHAWLY – HOMESTEAD SOUTH DADE
IN THE HUDDLE: BRANDON JAMES – ST. AUGUSTINE
IN THE HUDDLE: KEITH HOUSTON – IVES ESTATES DR. MICHAEL KROP
IN THE HUDDLE: REGGIE ODOM - DELAND
IN THE HUDDLE: C.J. SPILLER – LAKE BUTLER UNION COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RILEY COOPER – CLEARWATER CENTRAL CATHOLIC
IN THE HUDDLE: JAMES JAMISON – STARKE BRADFORD COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: DESMOND GEE - MADISON COUNTY
IN THE HUDDLE: RICKY GARY - PAHOKEE
IN THE HUDDLE: LAURANCE MARIUS – KEY WEST
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IN THE HUDDLE: LABRANDON GLOVER - PENSACOLA

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