Duncanville athlete Ja’Quinden Jackson at Duncanvile practice. (Mike Craven)

Football

Commitment 101: Quarterback/athlete Ja’Quinden Jackson, the state’s No. 2 prospect, picks Texas

Posted June 3rd, 2019

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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.

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Duncanville quarterback Ja’Quinden Jackson at The Opening regional in Dallas. (Mike Craven)

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 SCHOOLCOLLEGE
1. (1)Zachary EvansRBGalena Park North Shore (6A)Uncommitted
2. (2)Ja'Quinden JacksonATHDuncanville (6A)Texas
3. (3)Demond DemasWRTomball (5A)Texas A&M
4. (7)Chad LindbergOTClear Creek (6A)Uncommitted
5. (13)Jaylon JonesCBCibolo Steele (6A)Texas A&M
6. (19)Drew SandersATHDenton Ryan (5A)Alabama
7. (8)Jase McClellanRBAledo (5A)Oklahoma
8. (6)Vernon BroughtonDTCy Ridge (6A)Uncommitted
9. (5)Troy OmeireWRFort Bend Austin (6A)Texas A&M
10. (10)RJ MickensSSouthlake Carroll (6A)Clemson
11. (32)Jaylen GarthOTPort Neches-Groves (5A)Texas
12. (12)Chris Thompson Jr.SDuncanville (6A)Uncommitted
13. (22)Alfred CollinsDEBastrop Cedar Creek (5A)Uncommitted
14. (26)Jalen Kimber CBMansfield Timberview (5A)Georgia
15. (17)Hudson CardQBLake Travis (6A)Texas
16. (9)Malik Hornsby QBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Uncommitted
17. (4)Dwight McGlothernCBKlein Oak (6A)Uncommitted
18. (51)Haynes KingQBLongview (6A)Uncommitted
19. (28)Prince DorbahOLBHighland Park (5A)Uncommitted
20. (18)EJ SmithRBDallas Jesuit (6A)Uncommitted
21. (15)Alec BryantDEAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)LSU
22. (16)Courtland FordOTCedar Hill (6A)Uncommitted
23. (23)Seth McGowanRBMesquite Poteet (5A)Oklahoma
24. (14)Logan ParrOGSan Antonio O'Connor (6A)Texas
25. (NR)Nate AndersonOTFrisco Reedy (5A)Oklahoma
26. (11)Lorando JohnsonCBLancaster (6A)LSU
27. (27)Jake MajorsCProsper (6A)Texas
28. (31)Princely UmanmielenDEManor (5A)Uncommitted
29. (43)Jaxon Smith-NjigbaWRRockwall (6A)Ohio State
30. (24)Bryson WashingtonSC.E. King (6A)Uncommitted
31. (36)Xavion AlfordSAlvin Shadow Creek (5A)Uncommitted
32. (NR)Jahari RogersCBArlington (6A)Uncommitted
33. (20)Branard WrightDTDallas Carter (4A)Uncommitted
34. (29)Collin SullivanWRRound Rock (6A)Purdue
35. (25)James SylvesterDENewton (2A)TCU
36. (30)Marvin MimsWRFrisco Lone Star (5A)Uncommitted
37. (21)Darius SnowSCarrollton Hebron (6A)Michigan State
38. (45)Brennon ScottLBBishop Dunne (TAPPS)Uncommitted
39. (52)Quentin JohnstonWRTemple (6A)Uncommitted
40. (40)Devon AchaneWRFort Bend Marshall (5A)Uncommitted
41. (NR)Joshua EatonCBAldine MacArhur (6A)Uncommitted
42. (54)Ken SealsQBWeatherford (6A)Vanderbilt
43. (46)Michael HendersonATHCarrollton Ranchview (4A)Oklahoma
44. (NR)Ty'Kieast CrawfordOTCarthage (4A)Arkansas
45. (NR)Jerrin ThompsonSLufkin (6A)Uncommitted
46. (NR)Garrett HayesOTAthens (4A)Uncommitted
47. (42)Josh WhiteOLBCy CreekLSU
48. (49)Parker WashingtonWRFort Bend Travis (6A)Uncommitted
49. (NR)Kitan CrawfordCBJohn Tyler (6A)Texas
50. (NR)Ryan WattsCBLittle Elm (5A)Oklahoma
51. (37)Akinola OgunbiyiOGFort Bend Kempner (6A)Texas A&M
52. (55)Loic FouonjiWRMidland Lee (6A)Uncommitted
53. (33)Damieon GeorgeOTGalena Park North Shore (6A)Alabama
54. (NR)Avery HelmCBFort Bend Marshall (5A)Florida
55. (47)Trent PullenOGWaco Connally (4A)Oklahoma State

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