Posted: 11:41 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
By Bryan M. Vance
Ball State picked up a highly productive linebacker prospect over the weekend.
Pete Lembo's trip was full of more than amazing sunsets and beautiful beaches, he was hard at work reeling in recruits as well.
Recruits such as outside linebacker prospect Jeremiah Jackson, out of Hernado High School in Brooksville, Fla., who committed to the Cardinals on Monday according to 247Sports. A 5-11.5 (the .5 inches is key) 207 OLB/running back hybrid was a late offer (Jan. 16) and had competing offers from fellow MAC foe UMass, and B1G bottom-feeder Purdue, but opted to join Lembo's 2014 class instead.
Jackson isn't ranked by scouting services such as 247Sports, but that doesn't mean he isn't bringing some impressive accolades with him to Muncie, Ind. He brought home Tampa Bay Times' 2013 North Suncoast Defensive Player of the Year award after compiling 132 total tackles (the exact same total he had in 2012) and 18 tackles for loss in 2013. Jackson appears to be a do-it-all kind of backer, who also was a force in the pass-rush game, amassing 9.5 sacks in his career, and 72.5 career tackles for loss.
Judging from his highlight reel for his senior season, Jackson appears to have an explosive first step, and is definitely a hitter. But many of the clips show him blitzing, untouched, and there are a few plays where he overshot the ball-carrier and had to reach back to get the stop. Point being, he doesn't seem to be lacking in aggressiveness and energy on the field.
According to the Times, Jackson committed to the Cardinals as a linebacker, so while he put together 1,500 yards and 16 scores in three seasons of splitting time at running back, he's unlikely to suit up there for Ball State when he does take the field.
Jackson's commitment gives the Cardinals 18 commitments so far, and he could prove to be a crucial commit should 3-star OLB Vontae Diggs flip from Ball State to UConn.
With just a week to go until national signing day, Lembo's class is starting to take it's final form.