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COMMITMENT! Virginia football earns pledge from Roanoke linebacker James Jackson

Surge of in-state commitments continues for UVA’s class of 2021

Capital One Orange Bowl - Virginia v Florida Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Another day, another commitment for the Virginia Cavaliers.

On Sunday, James Jackson of North Cross School in Roanoke became the Hoos’ fourth addition in nine days.

The news of Jackson’s commitment started to leak out late last week, as other pieces of UVA’s 2021 class of defenders tweeted out images of committed defensive players that included Jackson.

Jackson is rated three stars by 247, but has yet to pick up a Rivals rating. His offer sheet is the mix of Power Five programs and academic stalwarts typical of UVA’s commits this year: Stanford, Louisville, Wake Forest, and West Virginia, but also Columbia, Princeton, Yale, and all three FBS service academies.

A first-team All-State selection at both outside linebacker and wide receiver, Jackson gives the defensive coaches an incredibly versatile talent to use in some interesting ways. He is a laser-guided missile in pass rush but also shows good awareness and mobility dropping into coverage. There aren’t many clips here that show him engaging with edge blockers in the run game, so that is something of a question mark; expect Jackson to need to add more bulk to his 6-foot-3, 200-pound frame to compete with ACC tight ends and offensive linemen. Jackson could see immediate playing time as a special teams ace as he builds into the deep rotation of linebackers currently in the program.

After Logan Taylor became the fifth in-state commitment last week, Jackson becomes number six, giving the Hoos more Virginia-based commits in 2021 than in their past two classes combined.