Hometown (School): Purcellville, VA (Woodgrove)
Height/Weight: 6'4" 225 lbs
Committed to Virginia: 04/21/13
Lead Recruiter: Mike London?
Jordan "JJ" Jackson is a bit of a sleeper DE for the Hoos. He has only played 2 years of organized football, but he racked up 27 sacks in his 2 years. He's got the perfect look for a DE - tall and lean. Jackson is rated as a 3-star prospect by all the major recruiting services. Rivals ranks him 28th among DEs, ESPN ranks him 54th and Scout ranks him 104th. At the time he accepted Mike London's offer, his only other FBS offer was ODU. He later received an offer from Duke. He also had numerous FCS offers, including from Yale.
That Yale offer is telling, because it means he's a bright kid. That will help because right now he's pretty raw. He needs to learn how to play DE. A smart kid is usually a coachable kid.
Jackson's junior and senior year highlights are available here:
Jackson is moved around on the line a lot. He plays on the left side, he plays on the right side. He plays out of a 3 point stance, he plays out of a 2 point stance. That shows you his versatility. You can see his advancement between the two years. In the junior video, almost all of his plays come on the OTs outside shoulder. He's just trying to get around the edge of the OL. In his senior year, there's a lot of what we like to call "pass rush moves". He goes inside and outside. He does a better job of shedding blocks in the senior year video.
It still seems like, in most of these highlights, he's the most athletic player on the field. He's chasing down RBs from across the field and outrunning QBs to the sideline. That won't happen in college, so Jackson is going to have to learn more technique. The nice thing is, with only two years experience, he shouldn't have many bad habits. The Hoos do not have a lot of DE depth, so it seems likely that at least one freshman DE will have to see the field this year. Just based on raw ability, it may be Jackson.