By: Eric Van Dril | March 3, 2017
Simeon junior Jayshon Jackson ended his recruitment earlier this week when he committed to Toledo.
There were two primary reasons that Jackson picked the Rockets, he said.
The first was his relationship with Toledo’s coaching staff. Jackson started to communicate with the Rockets’ coaches after he was offered a scholarship by Toledo this past summer. They ended up talking daily. Jackson liked the Rockets’ coaches, he said, as well as the school’s facilities.
The second major reason Jackson committed to Toledo was its offensive scheme.
“They run a spread offense, and they pass (a ton),” Jackson said. “I like that.”
Toledo finished 9-4 overall and 6-2 in the MAC last season. The Rockets threw for a total of 4,196 yards in those 13 games, which was the ninth most in the country. They averaged 322.8 passing yards-per-game — an enticing statistic for a player like Jackson, who projects to be a slot wide receiver in college.
The Rockets’ offense “fits me well because I’m not really (that) big,” Jackson said. “But I can use my speed in open spaces.”
Jackson, a first-team all-Public League selection and the star of the 2016 Prep Bowl, is especially focused on building his size and improving his foot speed right now, he said. He will continue to face top-level competition in the spring and summer as part of Midwest BOOM.
“There’s always room to get better, so that’s kind of how I approach my training,” Jackson said.
The nice thing about committing to Toledo now, Jackson added, is that he can focus more — including in school and on his development on the football field.
BOOM, an organization that has produced several top-flight 7-on-7 teams in recent years, has been especially helpful in Jackson’s improvement. He regularly plays with, and against, some of the top talent in Illinois.
“They say, ‘Iron sharpens iron,’” Jackson said, when asked about BOOM. “They make me better every time we practice.”
Committing to a Division I college is a significant accomplishment in the career of any athlete, but Jackson said he remains hungry to keep improving. He wants to make an immediate impact in his first season of college football.
Jackson’s future teammates and Toledo’s fans “can expect me to come in as a true freshman and compete for a starting spot,” Jackson said, “and hopefully make a difference (right away).”