Due to nagging injuries last season, the area has yet to have fully realized Josh Jackson’s talent on the football field.
But colleges took notice of the Lake Dallas senior, and on Thursday the athletic Jackson verbally committed to Iowa. The first day a class of 2014 prospect can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 5.
“I went up there and visited, and they treated me like family,” Jackson said, having visited Iowa City, Iowa, on Aug. 8. “They have a great program and great coaching staff. It’s a great conference. I really enjoyed the campus, and all the people are nice.”
The allure was there for Jackson to play in the Big 10 Conference with the Hawkeyes, so he chose Iowa over other offers from Nevada, New Mexico State and Colorado State.
“Whatever competition I’m playing against, I know I’ll be able to handle it,” Jackson said. “I’m a very good player, so I’m ready for it.”
Jackson was recruited as a cornerback, though he will focus mainly on wide receiver as a senior for the Falcons. He will still see occasional time at cornerback depending on the Falcons’ opponent and will also get time as a Wildcat quarterback in special packages.
Last season, Jackson was primarily a defender and recorded 12 pass breakups with five interceptions and two fumble recoveries to go along with 40 tackles. In limited offensive duty, he caught 13 balls for 186 yards and two touchdowns and also had a passing touchdown.
“Being as tall and fast as he is, and being able to jump like that, he’s a weapon,” Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young said. “I know these colleges now are really loving these corners that are tall.”
Jackson stands 6-foot-1 and weighs 175 pounds, having gained five inches and 35 pounds since his freshman year, but Young has said before he believes Jackson is now in line to be perhaps the best football player to walk the halls of Lake Dallas High School.
“He’s gotten a lot bigger since he was a freshman,” Young said. “He really has grown, especially in the last couple of years. He’s gotten stronger and a lot faster.”
Jackson’s athletic ability was evident in the spring when he went to the Class 4A Region I track meet in the high jump, long jump and triple jump, placing second in the triple jump to earn a berth in the state track and field meet.
“It all helps each other and is all related,” Jackson said. “It all comes back to explosiveness, and I’m explosive. Being athletic from track helps a lot in football.
“I’ll be able to have some height and I can jump, so I won’t be worried about covering big receivers. It’s a big advantage.”
Now that Jackson has his college future decided, he said he’s excited to devote all of his focus and attention to helping Lake Dallas make a deeper run in the postseason after a second-round exit in 2012.
“I’m happy to get it done so I can really focus on my senior season and focus on what I can do to help my team and help us get to the playoffs and eventually to state,” Jackson said. “I’m glad to have my commitment over with so I can just focus.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.