Josh Jackson grew five inches and gained 35 pounds since his freshman year at Lake Dallas (Texas) High School.
That put him at 6-1, 175 pounds. His speed and explosiveness put him in position to accept a football scholarship from the University of Iowa. Jackson committed to the Hawkeyes last week, picking them over offers from Colorado State, Nevada and New Mexico State.
Jackson visited Iowa City on Aug. 8. He originally wasn't going to decide until taking other visits, but liked what he saw from the Hawkeyes.
"I think it's a great fit," Jackson told HawkeyeReport.com. "The coaches have said I can come up there and make an impact at corner and help the team be successful. When I visited, I really liked all of the people I met, the academics, and everything."
Iowa recruited Jackson as a cornerback, even though he will focus mainly on wide receiver for Lake Dallas this season. He will see some time at corner depending on the Falcons’ opponent. And, according to the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle, he also will play some wildcat quarterback in special packages.
Last season, Jackson recorded 12 pass breakups with five interceptions, two fumble recoveries and 40 tackles. In limited time on offense, he caught 13 balls for 186 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw a TD pass.
“Being as tall and fast as he is, and being able to jump like that, he’s a weapon,” Lake Dallas coach Michael Young told the Record-Chronicle. “I know these colleges now are really loving these corners that are tall.
“He’s gotten a lot bigger since he was a freshman. He really has grown, especially in the last couple of years. He’s gotten stronger and a lot faster.”
Jackson is the first recruit for first-year assistant Bobby Kennedy, who spent seven seasons as an assistant coach at Texas. Iowa offered Jackson in May after watching his progress in spring practice and seeing him compete in track. Jackson qualified for the Texas state track meet in the triple jump.
“It all helps each other and is all related,” Jackson told the Record-Chronicle. “It all comes back to explosiveness, and I’m explosive. Being athletic from track helps a lot in football. I’ll be able to have some height and I can jump, so I won’t be worried about covering big receivers. It’s a big advantage.”
Jackson is Iowa's 13th recruit and third from Texas. He joins kicker Mick Ellis and defensive back Jyaz Jones. Jackson also is the second commitment for Iowa in a two-week span, giving the Hawkeyes a bit of a rebound after Cedar Falls O-lineman Ross Pierschbacher de-committed and accepted an offer to attend Alabama. Winnetonka linebacker Aaron Mends committed to the Hawkeyes earlier this month.
Jackson and Jones are defensive backs in the '14 class, which makes it official on Feb. 5. Omar Truitt, a 5-11, 185-pounder from Washington D.C., could join them. Right now, he's listed as an athlete.
Jay Scheel, QB 6-2, 170 Union High School (La Porte City) ****
Lucas LeGrand, OL, 6-5, 260 Dubuque Senior High School ***
Omar Truitt, CB, 5-11, 185, St. John’s College High School (Washington D.C.) ***
C.J. Hilliard, RB, 5-9, 192, St. Xavier High School (Cincinnati, Ohio) ***
Jyaz Jones, S, 6-0, 172, South Oak Cliff High School (Dallas, Texas) **
Jameer Outsey, OLB, 6-3, 220, Franklin High School (Somerset, N.J.) ***
Keegan Render, OL, 6-3, 310, Indianola High School ***
Matt Nelson, DE, 6-7, 249, Xavier High School (Cedar Rapids) ***
Mick Ellis, K, 5-9, 185, Lovejoy High School (Lucas, Texas) No rating
Terrance Harris, DE, 6-2, 240, Paramus Catholic High School (Paramus, N.J.) **
Ben Niemann, OLB, 6-3, 185, Sycamore (Ill.) High School **
Aaron Mends, LB, 6-1, 204, Winnetonka (Kansas City, Mo.) High School ***
Josh Jackson, CB, 6-1, 175, Dallas Lake ( Corinth, Texas) High School **
* — Rivals.com star rating