Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Jackson Jumps Onboard | by Pat

Meet Bennett Jackson, Notre Dame's fifth public commit of the 2010 recruiting class. The New Jersey wide receiver announced his decision this past Sunday.

"I just really liked Notre Dame a lot," said Jackson, who visited Notre Dame May 23. "When I went out there, I felt really comfortable with the coaches and the players. There wasn't anything bad or negative I can think of. Notre Dame just had all positives."

Jackson announced his decision at halftime of Sunday's New Jersey vs. the Northeast All-Star Football Classic at Rutgers Stadium. Jackson had the option of making his decision on live television, but declined out of respect for Rutgers, which had recruited him.
The second wide receiver commit in the class, the 6'1" 165 pound Jackson seems destined for a role as a slot receiver, where being shifty outweighs pure speed or height. He's mentioned in recent media articles as a receiver/return man, so ideally he will contribute as a punt or kick returner as well.

The recruiting sites are somewhat lukewarm on Jackson. Rivals lists him as a 3-star recruit and the 57th overall ranked WR recruit. On the other hand, it sort of sounds like they might bump him up a bit as this recent video mentions that Bennett "blew up late in the process". (yes, June before your senior year is now officially late in the recruiting process...go figure). Scout is a bit more positive, tabbing Jackson as a 4-star recruit and the 25th overall WR recruit. ESPN gave Jackson a 77 rating and slightly positive review.
Overall, Jackson shows flashes of becoming a polished player with good consistency from play to play. Explosive speed is an area where he may find it more difficult at the next level to have an advantage, but he does many things well and he is comfortable in many roles.
Comfortable in many roles seems to summarize his versatile play in high school.
As a junior, Jackson was a jack of all trades in helping Raritan earn a share of the Shore Conference National Division championship last fall. At receiver, he hauled in 34 receptions for 485 yards and four touchdowns. He also spent time under center, throwing for a pair of touchdowns, rushed for 200 yards, scored three times on special teams and booted four field goals. ...

“”He’s a kid that does it all,” Melvin said. “”You can line him up at receiver, on the outside or in the slot, and even though he didn’t play a lot of defensive back last year I think he’s going to play DB next season. He’s shifty, he’s quick. He’s running track with his team for the first time this year. And oh by the way, he also punted for his team and he’s not bad there, either.”
There is a lengthy 10 minute highlight reel on youtube for those wanting to make their own analysis of his play. As for his track results, he recently placed 6th in the state in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.4 seconds.

Other than ND, Jackson had offers from Michigan State, North Carolina, Pitt, BC, Rutgers, Iowa, and a number of other programs.

With Jackson in the fold, here is what the WR depth chart will look like in 2010, his freshman year. We'll try to start including position specific depth charts with each commit post so everyone has a good idea of just where ND is thin or deep for the coming seasons.

5th Year
Senior Junior Sophomore Freshman
Barry Gallup
Golden Tate
Michael Floyd
Shaq Evans
Daniel Smith

Duval Kamara
John Goodman*
Roby Toma
Bennett Jackson

Deion Walker*

Caveats: Seniors and juniors with asterisks next to their name have an additional year of eligibility....For all of these depth charts, all 5th year players listed are those with the potential to come back, even though it's not expected that every player with eligibility will be back...These depth charts can change at a moment's notice due to injury, position switches, or ResLife.