Tavyn Jackson’s college days are still a little ways off, but Quintin Lewis thinks the South Carolina commit could play in the SEC right now.
Lewis, the head coach at James Rickards High School (Tallahassee, Fla.), believes his 3-star cornerback “can guard anybody in the SEC,” and he isn’t afraid to share that opinion, either.
“He’s fast enough to run with anybody in the SEC, physical enough to attack the big backs and be a factor in the run-game,” Lewis said. “He’s going to be a good fit for (South Carolina).
“They’ve got an aggressive guy, but also a mature, smart football player who, in four years, is going to be a first-round (NFL) draft pick.”
Last Friday, Jackson committed to South Carolina, selecting the Gamecocks despite holding offers from Auburn, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and UCF, among others.
The 247Sports Composite ranks him as the No. 82 cornerback in the Class of 2017.
“He’s one of the guys that pushes to be the best. It doesn’t matter where he is, he’s striving to be the best. From day one, he just worked hard it,” Lewis said. “Whether it was South Carolina or FAMU, he was going to be the best that he can be. He had to get the right people to see him, the right people to notice his talents. He had a couple of big offers, but he probably should have had more.”
College recruiters did have a couple of questions about Jackson’s makeup.
“He does 10.7 in the 100 meters, so they wanted to see what was going on with his speed. Then it was his size. On film, he doesn’t look as big as he is. He’s 5-11, about 175 pounds,” Lewis said. “In person, you see that. On film, you don’t really see it. That was a question, they wanted to make sure that those measurements were true and that his speed was legit.”
Off the field, Jackson fits the profile.
He’ll graduate from high school in December, before enrolling at South Carolina in January, so his grades are certainly up to par.
For Lewis, it didn’t take long to recognize that maturity in his player.
“You could tell from the get go that he was the one that was going to be a football player and a student-athlete at the same time,” Lewis said. “He’s in his books. He does it because he wants to, not because anybody makes him do it.”
He added, “To graduate early, you’ve really got to be able to handle your business, to have your priorities in order, to make sure you do everything on time and correctly, so he does a great job with that.”
And Jackson is no stranger to hard work.
“(Jackson) works tirelessly at his craft. He lives in the weight room and he studies the game of football. He’s going to study his opponent and make sure he’s prepared week in and week out,” Lewis said. “That’s really the biggest thing, he’s going to be prepared, mentally, to play the game on Saturday.”