Alabama landed its 11th commitment in the 2018 class Friday afternoon when Texas 3-star athlete Vernon Jackson chose the Crimson Tide over TCU and Texas A&M.
Jackson had been a linebacker target for the Crimson Tide for several months, but he wasn’t pegged to be in this class until he visited Tuscaloosa in July for the Champions Cookout.
Some fans may yawn over Alabama landing a commitment from the nation’s No. 17 athlete, but his coach doesn’t understand how he could be rated so low.
“I don’t know how  guys are rated ahead of him,” Boling High School coach Kevin 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 an intriguing prospect.
There aren’t many recruits in the country who play quarterback but are getting looks at linebacker and running back 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 completed 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.
With Jackson on board, Alabama has four linebackers committed in the 2018 class. Jackson joins Quay Walker, Jordan Davis and Cameron Latu as the other linebackers. Walker is being looked at as an outside linebacker while Davis and Latu are being recruited at Jack linebacker, which is a hybrid of outside linebacker and defensive end.
Jackson is being recruited as an inside linebacker, which is where top target JJ Peterson is being recruited, as well.