February 13, 2010

Horns send a message in landing state's top DT

The Texas Longhorns are off to a fast start to the 2011 recruiting season, pulling in seven commitments before lunchtime of the program's first junior day. So far, it had been an offensive heavy class, with eight players on that side of the ball having given verbal commitments compared to only two on defense.

You can now make that two on defense, and the latest one is a big one.

Spring Westfield defensive tackle Desmond Jackson, ranked No. 3 on the most recent Lone Star Recruiting Top 100, picked up an offer from Texas on Saturday and gave the Horns a quick commitment.

"I talked with his position coach this morning and he confirmed that he had committed to Texas," Spring Westfield head coach Corby Meekins said.

The 6-1, 278-pound Jackson is the early jewel of the 2011 class, as he not only ranks as the state's top defensive line prospect, but he's also one of the first kids from the state that will be in the five-star rankings discussion later in the year.

Jackson emerged as a star during his sophomore season at Westfield when he earned Newcomer of the Year honors after 64 tackles and 21 tackles for loss. After dominating at a number of combines and camp in the off-season, Jackson took his play on the field as a junior to another level and capped off his run to the Texas offer with a dominant performance at the U.S. Army All-America Junior Combine.

"He's very quick off the ball, and he's strong as an ox," Rivals.com analyst Barry Every said after the combine in San Antonio earlier this year. "He beat all comers using his speed, good pad level and an array of moves. Jackson was one of the strongest competitors pound for pound at this combine.

"The only question I have is whether or not he can he add another 20 pounds onto his frame and maintain his current overall athleticism," Every said. "He already has several offers, but he put out the word that he is the best defensive tackle in the state of Texas for the Class of 2011."

Over the last couple of months, the recruitment of Jackson seemed to be centering on the two schools that played in the last BCS Championship game, as a number of family connections had put the Crimson Tide in a position to battle the Longhorns head-on. After visiting Alabama a couple of weeks ago, Jackson had the Longhorns and Tide listed as co-leaders.

And then he visited Austin and everything changed. Now Jackson is a Longhorn and an anchor for their 2011 recruiting class.

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