BRADENTON, Fla.-- The IMG 7-on-7 National Championships usually brings out some of the most talented prospects from all over the country. Local standout Vincent Jackson, of Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit, was in attendance once again, and he also helped lead Team Tampa to its second straight national championship.
The class of 2014 linebacker/defensive end knows that 7-on-7 events are not exactly set up for prospects who play his position to succeed, but he also knows that colleges are impressed with his ability to play that style football.
"I'm just trying to get better with covering people," Jackson said. "This really isn't an event where a linebacker shines; it's really a wide receiver/defensive back event. I'm just here to help my team on both sides of the ball. I've been playing 7-on-7 for a while now and, I mean, colleges are always impressed with that type of stuff."
Jackson currently holds close to 30 scholarship offers, and he is being recruited by some of the most revered college football programs in the country. He recently cut his list to 12: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Kentucky, Miami, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas A&M, University of Southern California, and the University of South Florida.
Of what he likes about Alabama, he said, "The school in itself, the coaching staff and the players around it. I mean, the school is beautiful, there is nothing they are really lacking." Jackson says he plans to visit Alabama again, if possible.
The University of Miami was one of the first schools to really recruit Jackson, and that has not gone unnoticed.
"Miami is still there. I mean, they've always been there; they never really dropped off," Jackson said. "They were one of the first staffs to believe in me."
Although he originally planned to participate in one of Al Golden's summer camps, he was not able to make it to any of them. Instead, he will take an unofficial visit to Coral Gables in the coming months.
Ohio State is another school that has intrigued Jackson throughout his recruiting process.
"Ohio State is a great traditional school," Jackson said. "Urban Meyer is one of my favorite coaches. I mean, I grew up watching him coach Florida and all that stuff. Once he moved to Ohio State, his coaching staff recruited me. I like that about him."
Standing at 6'3, and 245 pounds, Jackson already has the size needed to play linebacker. Going into the summer, he plans on getting his speed up, and letting his body recover from the injuries he has suffered in the past few months.