Texas’ recruiting drought in the 2020 cycle ended Monday evening with the pledge of dual-threat quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson. The 6-2, 219-pound four-star is ranked as the fourth-best athlete in the nation and is the No. 2 player on the American-Statesman’s Fabulous 55. He plays quarterback for Duncanville and contends that he wants to stay at that position in college.
Jackson helped lead Duncanville to the Class 6A Division I state championship game, playing well before the Panthers suffered a last-second loss to Galena Park North Shore on a Hail Mary pass.
Many believe Jackson’s highest potential is away from the quarterback position. He’s talented enough to play wide receiver or linebacker.
He completed 64 percent of his passes for 1,580 yards and 15 touchdowns to just three interceptions as a junior last season. He averaged more than 10 yards a carry, racking up 1,497 yards and 23 touchdowns on the ground. He’s a big-bodied quarterback, much like current UT starter Sam Ehlinger. Texas also holds a commitment from Lake Travis quarterback Hudson Card.
Jackson is Texas’ sixth commitment, all of which play offense.
Skill set: Jackson is a true dual-threat quarterback who utilizes power as much as speed in the running game. Ehlinger’s running style is probably a good comparison for Jackson, who is usually bigger than the linebackers on the other squad. He’s a bully in the open field, and he’s also fast enough to score any time he touches the football.
Jackson isn’t just a runner, though that is his strongest skill entering his senior season. He possesses a powerful arm. He simply needs to improve his technique and accuracy to stay at the position in college. His combination of size and speed makes him an intriguing prospect at positions like wide receiver or linebacker.
He ran a laser-timed 4.61 in the 40-yard dash in March at The Opening regional in Dallas, faster than many top-end receivers and defenders at the camp. He’s truly an elite athlete with a number of possible positions in college. He wants to start at quarterback, and he’ll be given that chance early in his UT career.
Immediate impact: Jackson’s immediate impact will be felt on the recruiting trail rather than the football field, especially if he stays at quarterback. Ehlinger will be entrenched as a senior starter when Jackson and Card arrive on campus. Add Casey Thompson and Roschon Johnson, and that’s a packed quarterbacks room for a freshman to crack. He’ll get a chance to learn and watch, or switch to a new position in 2020.
The impact of landing Jackson was important for Texas. Duncanville is a school that produces FBS talent on a yearly basis. It’s also a win in DFW recruiting for Tom Herman and his staff. Texas hopes to increase its footprint in north Texas and landing the city’s top star is a good look for the Longhorns. Texas is also recruiting his Duncanville teammate, safety Chris Thompson Jr.
Fitting into the program: Jackson knows what to expect in Austin. He plays for a hard-nosed high school coach in Reginald Samples, who happens to be the father of former Oklahoma State and Houston wide receiver Rashaad Samples, who is on Herman’s staff. Herman likes no-nonsense prospects who live and breathe football. Jackson checks those boxes. It should take no time for him to become an anchor in the locker room. He’s a known leader.
Recruiting at the position: Texas is done at quarterback in the 2020 class if it truly sees Jackson as a potential signal-caller. It’s also possible that the staff counts Jackson at whatever position they see him growing into once he’s on campus, whether that is on offense or defense. For now, we’ll consider him a quarterback with options if his first-choice position doesn’t work out.
|RANK (PREV.)||PLAYER||POS.||HIGH SCHOOL||COLLEGE|
|1. (1)||Zachary Evans||RB||Galena Park North Shore (6A)||Uncommitted|
|2. (2)||Ja'Quinden Jackson||ATH||Duncanville (6A)||Texas|
|3. (3)||Demond Demas||WR||Tomball (5A)||Texas A&M|
|4. (7)||Chad Lindberg||OT||Clear Creek (6A)||Georgia|
|5. (13)||Jaylon Jones||CB||Cibolo Steele (6A)||Texas A&M|
|6. (19)||Drew Sanders||ATH||Denton Ryan (5A)||Alabama|
|7. (8)||Jase McClellan||RB||Aledo (5A)||Oklahoma|
|8. (6)||Vernon Broughton||DT||Cy Ridge (6A)||Texas
|9. (5)||Troy Omeire||WR||Fort Bend Austin (6A)||Texas A&M|
|10. (10)||RJ Mickens||S||Southlake Carroll (6A)||Clemson|
|11. (32)||Jaylen Garth||OT||Port Neches-Groves (5A)||Texas|
|12. (12)||Chris Thompson Jr.||S||Duncanville (6A)||Auburn|
|13. (22)||Alfred Collins||DE||Bastrop Cedar Creek (5A)||Uncommitted|
|14. (26)||Jalen Kimber||CB||Mansfield Timberview (5A)||Georgia|
|15. (17)||Hudson Card||QB||Lake Travis (6A)||Texas|
|16. (9)||Malik Hornsby||QB||Fort Bend Marshall (5A)||Uncommitted|
|17. (4)||Dwight McGlothern||CB||Klein Oak (6A)||Uncommitted|
|18. (51)||Haynes King||QB||Longview (6A)||Texas A&M|
|19. (28)||Prince Dorbah||OLB||Highland Park (5A)||Texas|
|20. (18)||EJ Smith||RB||Dallas Jesuit (6A)||Uncommitted|
|21. (15)||Alec Bryant||DE||Alvin Shadow Creek (5A)||LSU|
|22. (16)||Courtland Ford||OT||Cedar Hill (6A)||Uncommitted|
|23. (23)||Seth McGowan||RB||Mesquite Poteet (5A)||Oklahoma|
|24. (14)||Logan Parr||OG||San Antonio O'Connor (6A)||Texas|
|25. (NR)||Nate Anderson||OT||Frisco Reedy (5A)||Oklahoma|
|26. (11)||Lorando Johnson||CB||Lancaster (6A)||LSU|
|27. (27)||Jake Majors||C||Prosper (6A)||Texas|
|28. (31)||Princely Umanmielen||DE||Manor (5A)||Texas|
|29. (43)||Jaxon Smith-Njigba||WR||Rockwall (6A)||Ohio State|
|30. (24)||Bryson Washington||S||C.E. King (6A)||Oklahoma|
|31. (36)||Xavion Alford||S||Alvin Shadow Creek (5A)||Uncommitted|
|32. (NR)||Jahari Rogers||CB||Arlington (6A)||Florida|
|33. (20)||Branard Wright||DT||Dallas Carter (4A)||Uncommitted|
|34. (29)||Collin Sullivan||WR||Round Rock (6A)||Purdue|
|35. (25)||James Sylvester||DE||Newton (2A)||TCU|
|36. (30)||Marvin Mims||WR||Frisco Lone Star (5A)||Uncommitted|
|37. (21)||Darius Snow||S||Carrollton Hebron (6A)||Michigan State|
|38. (45)||Brennon Scott||LB||Bishop Dunne (TAPPS)||Kansas|
|39. (52)||Quentin Johnston||WR||Temple (6A)||Uncommitted|
|40. (40)||Devon Achane||WR||Fort Bend Marshall (5A)||Uncommitted|
|41. (NR)||Joshua Eaton||CB||Aldine MacArhur (6A)||Uncommitted|
|42. (54)||Ken Seals||QB||Weatherford (6A)||Vanderbilt|
|43. (46)||Michael Henderson||ATH||Carrollton Ranchview (4A)||Oklahoma|
|44. (NR)||Ty'Kieast Crawford||OT||Carthage (4A)||Arkansas|
|45. (NR)||Jerrin Thompson||S||Lufkin (6A)||Texas|
|46. (NR)||Garrett Hayes||OT||Athens (4A)||Uncommitted|
|47. (42)||Josh White||OLB||Cy Creek||LSU|
|48. (49)||Parker Washington||WR||Fort Bend Travis (6A)||Penn State|
|49. (NR)||Kitan Crawford||CB||John Tyler (6A)||Texas|
|50. (NR)||Ryan Watts||CB||Little Elm (5A)||Oklahoma|
|51. (37)||Akinola Ogunbiyi||OG||Fort Bend Kempner (6A)||Texas A&M|
|52. (55)||Loic Fouonji||WR||Midland Lee (6A)||Uncommitted|
|53. (33)||Damieon George||OT||Galena Park North Shore (6A)||Alabama|
|54. (NR)||Avery Helm||CB||Fort Bend Marshall (5A)||Florida|
|55. (47)||Trent Pullen||OG||Waco Connally (4A)||Oklahoma State|