Welcome to SEC Country’s daily Roll Tide-ings, a rundown of everything happening in Alabama Crimson Tide recruiting with Chris Kirschner. Today, we talk the latest with a top Alabama target set to announce his commitment this weekend.
Vernon Jackson set to commit this Saturday
Vernon Jackson only played three games of junior varsity for Boling (Texas) High School before he was called up to the varsity team. Boling’s starting defensive end went down with a season-ending knee injury and there was no hesitation that Jackson would be the replacement.
Since then, Jackson has turned into one of the best recruits in the country and a major Alabama inside linebacker target. He’ll announce his commitment this Saturday and all signs are pointing toward the Crimson Tide.
“He’s special and freaky,” Boling coach Kevin Urbanek told SEC Country. “He’s 6-foot-3 and weighs over 240 pounds, but he moves like a skill kid. You watch him on film sometimes and you just ask yourself how he made that cut or how he does what he does at that size. He’s a special freak. That’s what I call him.”
Jackson is rated by 247Sports as a 3-star prospect and the nation’s No. 26 athlete in the 2018 class, which is absurd when you watch his film. The reason for the low ranking is Jackson didn’t attend any recruiting camps this summer. He keeps a low profile with the media, so he doesn’t get seen or heard from a lot.
Some fans may yawn over Alabama likely getting a 3-star prospect on Saturday when he makes his decision around 2 p.m. ET, but this would be a really good pickup for the Tide. Alabama has considered Jackson a priority for several months now.
“I don’t know how 25 guys are rated ahead of him,” Urbanek said of Jackson’s ranking. “I would really like to see those guys. I know if there are that many players rated above him, I would really like to meet them. He’s such a special kid, so if someone is ahead of him, how special is that guy?”
Jackson plays quarterback and free safety for Boling, which makes him a very intriguing prospect.
There aren’t many recruits in the country who play quarterback but are getting looks at linebacker in the SEC. Schools have shown interest in Jackson at quarterback, running back, H-back, tight end, defensive end and linebacker.
As a junior, Jackson competed 57 of 97 attempts for 836 yards and 6 scores, along with another 2,072 yards and 33 touchdowns on the ground. He rushed for more than 500 yards and scored 7 touchdowns in the third round of the playoffs.
“You just don’t see many kids his size that can do the athletic things he can do,” Urbanek said. “Everyone comes here and asks me where I see him playing. I always tell them that is their job. You can put him wherever you want. You want him to be a D-lineman? You can put 40 pounds on him. You want him to be an inside or outside linebacker? He can do it.”
Not only is he gifted on the field, but he also holds a 3.8 GPA and is a warrior in the weight room. He can squat 600 pounds. Twitter went crazy when Penn State running back Saquon Barkley squatted 525 pounds five times. A senior in high school is already doing that. Imagine what Jackson can do when he follows a proper diet and starts Scott Cochran’s weight program, if he chooses Alabama.
The Crimson Tide started looking like Jackson’s eventual pick after a trip to Tuscaloosa last month. He stayed on campus for three days, which was his first time visiting the school. He loved it.
“He went there this summer and felt that connection with the staff,” Urbanek said. “I think when he went there this summer that he got that feeling, and we always talk with coaches about what he’s looking for in schools. He’s looking for that place where he just knows like he belongs. I think that was the thing with him when he went there.”
When he makes his commitment this Saturday, Urbanek said don’t expect him to be one of those recruits who continues flirting with other schools.
“Personally, I think he’s going to be done,” Urbanek said. “I think he’s ready to make his commitment and get this done. He’s one of those kids that when he tells you he’s going to do something, that’s what he’s going to do. When he makes his decision on Saturday, that’s it.”
ABC 13 Houston is expected to livestream Jackson’s ceremony this Saturday. When SEC Country gets the link, we will post it on our site.
Quick note on Asa Martin
Asa Martin, a 4-star running back from Austin High School (Decatur, Ala.), will make his commitment this Thursday. For several months I’ve predicted Martin to commit to Alabama.
I am changing my prediction.
When Martin makes his commitment on Thursday, I expect Auburn to be the choice. I am hearing loads of confidence on the Auburn side of things and the Tigers have continued to gain traction by the day.
We still have one more day to go until his decision, which is an eternity in recruiting, so my prediction can change. But, right now, I’m thinking Auburn is going to land the state’s top running back.
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