CORINTH — Ever since Lake Dallas’ Josh Jackson put on his first set of shoulder pads and cleats, his aspirations and focus have been locked on playing college football.
On Wednesday, he took the next step toward his collegiate career and signed a national letter of intent to play at Iowa.
“I’ve been dreaming about playing college ball, and it’s finally come true,” Jackson said. “I’m just blessed and happy to be able to do it. Every since I started playing in the fourth grade, it has been my dream.
“Hopefully I’ll see myself playing in the NFL, and if not, I have other plans.”
Jackson was recruited to play defensive back, despite his offensive talents at wide receiver. Jackson said he was encouraged by the defensive teammates he met on his visits to Iowa City.
“I like receiver, but I think corner is the best choice for me,” Jackson said. “I’m just excited to go out there and play and lock down receivers. They have great corners. I learned a lot from Tanner Miller and B.J. Lowery. They talked to me and gave me a lot of tips. It was great. They took me under their wing and told me about the defense and how to be successful. It kind of reminded me of home.”
Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young says the coaching staff at Iowa will change its mind and eventually give Jackson a shot on the offensive side of the ball.
“I told the coaches at Iowa before the season started that I thought after they saw him play receiver this year that things would change and that he would get a chance to play offense,” Young said. “I think he’s going to when he gets up there. He’s a dynamic receiver as well, and in this day of football, touchdowns are important. He’s versatile. He can play corner, safety or inside or outside receiver. Versatility is important. If you go there and can only do one thing, it can be tough.”
Jackson played in only five games last season because of injury, but he said that he is back to full health and ready to compete.
“They said I would be back in six weeks, but my ankle was still bothering me, so I ended up coming in eight or nine weeks,” Jackson said. “That’s when I started running on it, but it finally healed after 12 weeks. It’s a blessing. I’m very excited. I’m ready to go compete with the other guys and talk trash. It motivates me and I’m sure it will motivate them.”