Saying that Jesuit Football produces talent year after year is like declaring that the sun comes up in the East, water is wet, and fire is hot. This season is no different. One of the brightest underclassmen on the roster is Vincent Jackson a 6-2, 213lb TE/LB Sophomore that’s starting to gain interest from around the country. Some of those suitors represent the biggest programs in the country and will undoubtedly step up their pursuit once Jackson becomes even more refined in his skills as a pass blocker, a receiver and to continue on the path he’s currently on with his defense as well. Jackson took a few moments to talk about that, his teammates and Jesuit’s big game Friday at Lakewood.
The Tigers are 6-1 with their only loss coming to Plant at the beginning of the season. When specifically asked about his thoughts regarding the season and his personal progression Jackson was stating the obvious about his team and pretty honest regarding his assessment of his play. “The season is going great so far, especially on defense,” said Jackson. “25+ tackles thus far and 6 sacks. Doubling last year’s numbers.” Although he was quick to acknowledge the area needing the most work. Jackson’s one catch for 16 yards isn’t anything spectacular, but it’s a source of motivation to improve daily according to him.
When asked what his biggest issue on offense and would he rather be playing on just one side of the ball, Jackson was quick to point out some of the flaws and his preference on which side of the ball is best for him. ” The biggest issue is probably blocking (or at least at the beginning of the year), but it’s becoming better. I love playing both (defense and offense) so I can’t really lean to one side just yet.”
Jackson’s size and his sky-is-the-limit potential have attracted coaches from some of the biggest names in college football and right now has an offer from the hometown team in USF, as well as an impending offer from a rather well-known school that happens to share a few things in common with his current school on many levels other than football. “USF offered me, and a Notre Dame offer is coming sometime soon. Oregon, Kansas, Wisconsin, LSU, Michigan St., and Pitt have expressed a ton of interest as well.”
The Notre Dame offer could be interesting especially since one of his teammates (Travis Johnson) also holds an offer from the Golden Domers and they are also hot and heavy after Berkeley Prep’s Nelson Agholor and are reportedly soon to offer Schyler Miles from Berkeley as well. That’s some pretty good company to keep if he could pick up that offer and sounded humbled just to be a part of the action. “I love the ND talk. To join that group [even in discussion] is something special.”
When asked about the other schools that stood out, along with his thoughts on the solid offer he does have from the University of South Florida, Jackson listed Oregon, Wisconsin, LSU, and Pitt as standing out the most, while recognizing what the hometown Bulls are trying to do as well. “USF’s making that journey to the top and I love that about them. Although they haven’t been playing well lately, they will definitely be in the mix when National Signing Day comes.”
The Tigers have a huge District 8-5A clash this Friday when they travel to South St. Petersburg and take on the Lakewood Spartans in a game that will undoubtedly decide the district champion and go a very long way towards determining the playoff race as well. When asked about the impending tilt Jackson was quite candid and kept it very much in perspective regarding his and his teammates prep for the not-so-average regular season matchup. “I’m expecting a great game. The prep is the same almost every week though. The faces change, but the game remains the same. Nothing really special, we just have to go out and play like we do every week.”
Jackson points to the outstanding play of some of his teammates too, (unsolicited I might add). “Guys like Isaac “Big Ike” Edwards, Reggie Brown, Robbie Gibbons, and Nahshon “Shon” Simmons are all having great years too.” Jackson still has time obviously to decide what he’s aiming for on the academics side, but he’s narrowed it down so far to either Physical Therapy or Pre-Law. Whatever the area of study it may be, the one classroom he will be shining in for years to come will be the one that’s 100 yards long and surrounded by screaming fans. That’s a given.