No worries for Hogs’ signee
El Dorado High School defensive lineman Bijhon Jackson signs his letter-of-intent to play football for the University of Arkansas on National Signing Day at the EHS Wildcat Arena Wednesday. Jackson was surrounded by his mother Michelle, seated left, and father Anthony, seated right, many family members, classmates, teammates and coaches.
EL DORADO - Bijhon Jackson has always been a fan of the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Now he is one.
The 6-3, 295-pound defensive tackle from El Dorado signed a national letter of intent Wednesday at Wildcat Arena to play football for the University of Arkansas.
“It’s kind of like I don’t have anything to worry about now. I’m stress-free,” Jackson said. “I can now just continue to work hard and do everything I can do to earn a spot in the lineup next year.”
Jackson was dominant this past season despite often being double-teamed, finishing with 61 tackles, 43 unassisted, while helping the Wildcats win their second Class 6A state title in three seasons. He also had 11 tackles for lost yardage, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery and 1 interception.
“He’s really got everything you want,” El Dorado Coach Scott Reed said. “He’s intelligent. He’s explosive. He has great size and length. He’s strong. He learns quickly.
“Bijhon understands what offenses are trying to do. He picks things up that it normally takes kids a long time to grasp. He has great savvy. He understands the game. There are no limits on him.”
Jackson is one of the nation’s most highly sought defensive tackles. He took part in the U.S. Army All-American game and The Opening, a premier summer event that draws many of the nation’s top prospects to Beaverton, Ore. Jackson is ranked as the No. 8 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com, No. 4 by Scout.com and No. 6 by ESPN.com
Jackson said the recruiting process was a great learning experience.
“I’ve learned a lot over the last couple of years, especially about business with all the different recruiting,” Jackson said. “It’s been an awesome opportunity for me to be able to do this.”
Jackson’s father, Anthony, was pleased with his son’s decision to stay close to home and try to help build the Razorbacks into a contender in the SEC.
“It’s very exciting to see him go from where he was to now,” Anthony Jackson said. “It is just amazing. I’m bursting. … I’m so happy to see him go to the Razorbacks, my favorite team.”
Jackson was all smiles, too, saying he never seriously considered any other school.
“It’s an awesome feeling to finally get this out of the way,” he said. “I know a lot of people have been waiting on it. I’ve been waiting on it, too.
“I’ve been committed for over a year now, and I’m now officially a Hog.”
Sports, Pages 17 on 02/06/2014