NAME: Michael Jackson
JERSEY: No. 28
RECRUITMENT RATING: 3-star
WT: 200 lbs
After two seasons of special teams and spot duty on defense for Miami, Jackson burst onto the scene as a Junior as part of a standout defensive unit for the Hurricanes on defense. Playing in all 13 games and starting 10 in 2017, Jackson racked up 43 tackles, four interceptions and five pass breakups en route to second-team All-ACC honors.
For a team in search of a long, bulky, physical and athletic boundary corner (who isn’t?), Jackson is an ideal target. Whether it’s coming up in run support or making a tackle on a quick pass or being physical in press or at the catch point, Jackson has outstanding play strength that meets the expectations of his imposing frame. He excels playing close to the line of scrimmage and using his length and physicality to disrupt routes during the release.
While Jackson may not be an ideal candidate to be trusted on an island against a twitchy, speed receivers he is sound in zone coverage and knows how the read the backfield and squeeze throwing windows. He flashed impressive ball skills at times and competes at the catch point with an alpha mentality.
The concern with Jackson comes when he is tasked with duties in off man coverage where his lack of reactionary quickness and tight hips to turn and run can be exposed. Demonstrating growth in that area this season is critical to him not being labeled a scheme-specific prospect. As it stands, his ability to win in off man coverage is not at the same caliber as it is with press and zone.
The ‘Canes defense is loaded with talent and Jackson is among the best players on the unit. He is primed for a big senior season as a clear-cut starter on the boundary and an ascending draft prospect.