The Florida Gators added to their defensive back room Thursday by landing a verbal commitment from four-star Kissimmee (Fla.) cornerback Osceola Ja’keem Jackson. As a junior last season, Jackson recorded three interceptions while playing in four games as a defensive back after switching to the attacking side of the ball. He has a huge advantage at cornerback, which is one of the things the 247Sports national team loves about him.
“I think he’s an SEC-type defensive back,” 247Sports national analyst Cooper Petagna said. “That’s the first thing that jumps out at me. He’s got really good production on both sides of the ball. One of the first things that sticks out is the most things he can do. He’s physical on the line he’s 6-foot-1, 180lbs but physically wise he’s had a lot of room to grow so we like that and we like the length he’s a 10.9 100 yard guy that he ran in April. He had a few touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball last year and three INTs on defense. There’s a lot of evidence of ball production. When you look at a defensive back and you look at his ability to be a two-way player, and playing in attack, that’s important. You see a lot of those traits translate into the defensive side of the ball in terms of ball tracking and awareness. I think he’s done tailored for the SEC and I like his temperament and physicality I think he’ll be a guy with a year in the program and getting frustrated. develop in the strength and conditioning program under Marc Hocke in Florida. I think he’ll be ready by year two as a guy who gets some serious reps.”
Southeast scouting analyst Andrew Ivins has seen Jackson several times and echoed the sentiment that he had a huge advantage.
“I think he’s got the tools and the profile that everyone is looking for these days. He’s over 6ft tall, he’s got long arms and he’s got maximum foot speed. The measurable ones stand out, but when you look at his track record you get even more excited He only played four games defense as a junior because he was mostly a wide receiver He has refined ball skills and he caught my eye in camp of Orlando Pylon in January playing defense. He was making plays even though he didn’t really seem to know what he was doing. Fast forward to spring football and he became a national rookie. He’s one of my favorite corner prospects even though he’s still pretty raw. He has what it takes to emerge as a starter and potential impact player one day.”
Jackson was a name to climb the ranks of the Gators’ recruiting board from the spring months through the summer months. After the staff spotted him during a summer camp session, they knew he had to commit.
“They’re getting a defensive back who’s just a natural football player,” said Steve Wiltfong, 247Sports national recruiting director. He shone as a high school wide receiver, so he has natural ball skills and can make plays and be fluid. I know he went to see Florida and they saw him in the spring and camped him in the summer. After that, he shot the Gators board. He has elite speed and can cover SEC guys with his skills. He’s a bit raw but he has the tools to be an elite defensive back.”
Stay tuned to Swamp247 for more content on this new addition.