Peach County High School linebacker became Georgia Tech football’s first commitment of the 2018 recruiting class on Sunday but what will the Fort Valley native bring to the Jackets?
This past Sunday, Georgia Tech received their first commitment in the 2018 class from Georgia native JaQuez Jackson. The linebacker from Fort Valley is rated as a three-star prospect and the 118th best prospect in Georgia according to 247Sports.
Before diving into his tape, let’s take a look at the measurables available for Jackson.
- Height and Weight:
When it comes to having desirable measurables for a division one linebacker, Jackson fits the mold. Jackson currently stands at 6-foot-0 and 210-pounds which still leaves him plenty of room when all said and done. With a year remaining in high school and a potential redshirt season at Tech, Jackson could very well grow to 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2 and around 215-to-225 pounds of mostly muscle.
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His size puts him on the higher end of Georgia Tech’s current linebacker core. With that being said, Jackson’s measurables when it comes to height and weight will be no problem.
- 40-yard dash: 5.18
When it’s time to take a look at Jackson’s game tape, many will wonder why Jackson isn’t a higher rated recruit. On tape, Jackson looks like a player that could be a dominating linebacker for years to come. The one slightly concerning measurable of Jackson’s, however, is his 40-yard dash time.
A 40-yard dash time of 5.18 is slow for a linebacker, especially considering they at times have to cover tight ends and in extremely rare situations a wide receiver. While the Jackets could work on around his speed, it does limit to what Jackson could do on the field and how often he could be on the field.
He’s not a linebacker that Ted Roof and the defensive staff will want to put on tight ends but his speed is good enough to drop back into coverage in zone situations.
Early on, expect Jackson to be a guy who sees most of his time in rushing defense packages and a few zone coverages if needed. Right now he projects better to being a SAM linebacker. He’ll be more focused on the pass rush than anything early on in his career on The Flats.
The final line on his 40-yard dash is, don’t look too much into the slow time but if it is a true reading of his speed, expect him to be SAM linebacker in the future.
Film Room Study:
So now let’s take a look at Jackson’s junior season highlight reel which you can view above.
Let’s start with the first play in the highlight video, it’s a simple well read play by Jackson. He was able to read and diagnose the play at hand, find the hole, and meet the running back limiting his gain with solid overall tackling skills.
Jackson’s tackling skills is one which he has been praised for by scouts and it’s easy to see in his video why he’s praised for it. Now, let’s take a look at his speed on the field. Yes, his 40-yard dash is 5.18 which is slow for most linebackers but in his tape, Jackson appears to have a tremendous motor and strong closing speed.
Both his pass rush and run defense skills appear to be strong and he’s not afraid to be physical. His motor and athleticism allows him to make up for a lack of speed and make plays.
Overall, Jackson film gives him the look of a potential linebacker that the Jackets could use as a solid role player early on in his career before making him a centerpiece in his junior and senior years.