Croot Loops: CB Joshua Jackson

WR or CB? Iowa fill figure out Jackson when he shows up for camp

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Josh Jackson will begin his Iowa career as a corner, but that wide receiver thing looks pretty cool, too.

During his visit to Iowa City in late January, Jackson met with Iowa coaches from both sides of the ball.

Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young told the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle, Jackson's hometown newspaper, he believes Iowa will change its mind and eventually give Jackson a shot on the offensive side of the ball.

“I told the coaches at Iowa before the season started that I thought after they saw him play receiver this year that things would change and that he would get a chance to play offense,” Young said. “I think he’s going to when he gets up there. He’s a dynamic receiver as well, and in this day of football, touchdowns are important. He’s versatile. He can play corner, safety or inside or outside receiver. Versatility is important. If you go there and can only do one thing, it can be tough.”

Yes, TDs are good.  Jackson caught 24 passes for 485 yards and nine touchdowns.

Jackson is good with whichever position (as a junior at Lake Dallas High School, he had 12 pass breakups with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries). He just wants to play.

“I like receiver, but I think corner is the best choice for me,” Jackson told the Record-Chronicle. “I’m just excited to go out there and play and lock down receivers. They have great corners. I learned a lot from Tanner Miller and B.J. Lowery. They talked to me and gave me a lot of tips. It was great. They took me under their wing and told me about the defense and how to be successful. It kind of reminded me of home.”

Iowa signed four potential corners in this class. Jackson is one of them, at least for now.

Basics: Lake Dallas High School, 6-1, 175, cornerback

Dent the depth chart in ’14? — With a 6-1, 175-pound build, probably not, but you never know. Jackson qualified for the Texas state track meet in the triple jump. He also competed in the long jump and high jump, so obviously there's some spring in his body. Jackson played in five games last season because of an ankle injury. He said on signing day that he is back to full health and ready to compete.

Off-the-top-of-my-head Hawkeye comparison — Bradley Fletcher (maybe the last corner taller than 6-0 for Iowa) scouting snippet — Jackson is a very good prospect that should attract the interest of many mid level BCS programs. He possesses the tools to be a solid player for many years at the next level. . . . Jackson possesses very good size for a corner. He is nice and tall and has time to fill out even more than he already is. Displays his strength as he shows no fear in tackling and the back goes backwards. His speed is up to par as he can close on a ball carrier in a hurry.

What Iowa said . . .

Head coach Kirk Ferentz on the large number of corner prospects in this class — “The DB thing keeps growing. Like I said,how many scholarships did we budget for your position again and he just kept recruiting guys, but the guys that we were involved with, who we're really excited about and think they're good players, one thing I was intrigued about with most of them is they have two-way flexibility, if you will. We're planning on playing those guys on defense, but just to see guys with ball skills, I think immediately of Micah Hyde who was not a high recruited guy,but that's one thing about Micah, he had great ball skills. He could have been our best receiver his senior year, but I think it all worked out well for him.”

Iowa recruiting coordinator Eric Johnson on where Jackson might fit in: “He could be a corner, he could be a safety, he could flip over to wide receiver. Excellent athlete. He's one of those guys we'll get into camp and see where he fits in."

Is Texas coming back to Iowa a little bit (it was a Hayden Fry recruiting buffet): "We have two guys down in Texas [WR coach Bobby Kennedy and LB/ST coach LeVar Woods]. They recruit the Dallas area. Coach [Greg] Davis still has connections. Bobby has all types of connections down there. Those types of connections helped produce Josh."

Was Phil Parker involved, with Josh possibly being a corner?: "Yes, the way it works is the area coach brings the info to the position coach and passes it down the line. Phil was definitely involved."

What I think (FWIW, obviously) . . .

Great-looking athlete. Graceful, effortless runner. In the defensive clips, he showed he has solid football awareness and really broke on throws in front of him. Willing combatant as a tackler. As a WR, fantastic body control. YouTube showed a few back-shoulder plays that he didn't tip to the DB, turning his shoulders at the last possible minute. Doesn't run "hot," just a cool dude with the ball. Made defenders miss and read blockers well in WR screen.

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