Duncanville’s Ja’Quinden Jackson keeps his recruitment close to his shoulder pads. The four-star dual-threat quarterback doesn’t talk much. He’s a football player. Plain and simple.
Jackson — the No. 2-ranked player on the 2020 Fabulous 55 and one of the top-ranked athletes in the entire nation — led Duncanville to the state championship game yet he’s still not as respected as a passer than many of his peers. He arrived at Sunday’s The Opening regional in Frisco wanting to prove those opinions wrong, even if he doesn’t care too much about others’ opinions on his abilities as a quarterback.
“Lot of people don’t think I can throw, but I think I can throw the ball,” Jackson said. “I try not to let the opinions of others bother me. My stats speak for me.”
The 6-2, 200-pound prospect is a high priority for Texas in the 2020 cycle, along with his teammate and defensive back Chris Thompson Jr. Jackson has been listed as an athlete for much of his recruitment as many think he’ll transition to wide receiver or outside linebacker in college.
Jackson put those rumors to rest.
“I’m going to stick to playing quarterback,” he said. “I’ve only played quarterback, so that is where I want to stay.”
He said that Texas and Oklahoma have been talking to him the most.
Jackson is busy running track this spring. He’ll narrow his list of schools before the football season and then announce in January at the Under Armour All-America Game in Orlando. He was in no rush to tip his hand or offer hints, but he did say nice things about the Longhorns.
“Texas is a great school. It’s a great program and finished with a win over Georgia,” he said. “There is a good thing going on over at Texas.”
Texas already holds one commitment at quarterback with an early pledge from four-star Hudson Card of Lake Travis. Jackson is the type of player a program takes no matter where he states he wants to play, especially with the increasing odds that quarterbacks will transfer rather than wait their turn.
“Competition isn’t something that can scare you or you shouldn’t be playing this game,” Jackson said. “I’ll be confident in my abilities to play no matter where I go to college.”
Another DFW prospect that Texas is high on is outside linebacker Brennon Scott, a four-star prospect from private school power Dallas Bishop Dunne who holds 31 offers. He said he hopes to narrow that list down to his favorite schools soon.
“Texas, LSU and OU stand out right now, but I’m still finding the best fit,” Scott said Sunday. “The coaches say I can play inside or outside linebacker, or even B-backer at a place like Texas. I like rushing the passer and that intrigued me.”
The 6-1, 230-pound prospect is no stranger to the recruiting process; he’s watched teammates like Brian Williams (Texas A&M) and Calvin Avery (Illinois) go through the same ups and downs for the 2019 cycle that he’s now experiencing.
“I’m lucky to have great coaches and former teammates who went through this process that I can lean on,” Scott said. “Going to a private school helps prepare you for the class workload that comes in college. I won’t be overwhelmed.”
Texas is firmly in the mix with Scott. The No. 45-ranked player on the Fab 55 says he won’t decide until national signing day. He does plan to be in Austin for the Orange-White game in April.
“I have a great relationship with Todd Orlando,” Scott said. “We talk nearly every day and he’s always trying to get me back to Austin.”