Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
THE RECRUITING GUY:
El Dorado junior handles pain
El Dorado defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson (right) has been hobbled by an ankle injury this season, but Coach Scott Reed said Jackson is playing at about 90 percent now. The 6-2, 325-pound junior has received scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Arkansas State.
LITTLE ROCK El Dorado Coach Scott Reed lists junior defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson at about 90 percent after he suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season, but it hasn’t affected his play as much as one would think.
“He’s better,” Reed said. “He had a couple of games where he was kind of hobbled around.”
Jackson, 6-2, 325 pounds, 5.1 seconds in the 40-yard dash, was a member of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Super Sophomore team after recording 33 unassisted tackles, 14 assisted tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles last season. His mental toughness has impressed Reed.
“He’s never come off [the field] and complained or asked out,” Reed said.
A big part of Jackson’s success is his ability to explode off the snap.
“He’s catching a lot of double-teams and even some triple-teams,” Reed said. “I know he’s disruptive.”
Jackson, who has scholarship offers from Arkansas, Ole Miss and Arkansas State, also causes problems for the Wildcats’ offense during practice.
“It’s hard to practice with that guy,” Reed said. “I’m kind of holding my breath .”
Reed said Jackson’s agility is uncommon for a big man.
“He can go from a horizontal to a vertical player pretty quick, which is something I look for,” Reed said. “I think he’s going to get more versatile as he goes. I don’t think he’s just a plugger.”
Jackson has 23 unassisted tackles, 8 assisted tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 3 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, 5 knockdowns and 1 forced fumble through 9 games this season. In the spring, Jackson recorded a 360-pound bench press and 350-pound power clean.
“Next year he will probably bench press and power clean over 400.” Reed said.
Isaac Jackson of Fort Smith Southside was a standout receiver as a sophomore but moved to quarterback this season, the same position his father, Ike, played at Fort Smith Northside before going on to play at Oklahoma State.
“Everybody sees us the same,” Isaac Jackson said. “Everybody calls us the same names. We just look alike, play alike and have the same mind-set.”
Jackson, 6-3, 215, 4.6, is drawing interest from Arkansas, Auburn, LSU and Arkansas State. He has completed 60 of 108 passes for 1,091 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed 100 times for 633 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.
“I’m known for scrambling,” Jackson said. “I can get the ball where it needs to be mostly scrambling, running around, getting out of the pocket.”
Jackson said the Razorbacks are attractive, but he’s keeping an open mind.
“I like Arkansas a lot,” he said. “I just have to give it more time for more schools and see what other opportunities I have.”
FITTING THE MOLD
Approximately 40 prospects are expected to attend Arkansas’ game against Tulsa on Saturday at Reynolds Razorback Stadium, including sophomore offensive lineman Matt Womack of Hernando, Miss.
Womack, 6-6, 305, is receiving interest from Arkansas, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and others.
“He’s a big kid right now, but he’s still young,” Hernando Coach Anthony Jenkins said. “I’ve had a lot of Division I football players, and he somewhat fits that mold.”
E-mail Richard Davenport at email@example.com
Sports, Pages 22 on 11/02/2012