Eddie Jackson to Alabama: Crimson Tide Land 4-Star Athlete Recruit

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2013

Courtesy of 247Sports.com
Courtesy of 247Sports.com

Four-star athlete Eddie Jackson is taking his talents to Alabama, according to ESPN's Greg Ostendorf.  

Eddie Jackson has come a long way. The four-star athlete was an unknown until late in the recruiting cycle. On Wednesday, he gave a verbal commitment to the University of Alabama, the reigning national champions. 

'I like how the program is run,' Jackson said. 'It’s just everything that they stand for. I can be that guy from Fort Lauderdale, the first guy to come up there and have a chance, a chance to go up there and play...'

...'They want me to play defensive back,' Jackson said. 'Coach Saban told me there’s a good opportunity for me to start my freshman year, come in and play early. That really sounded good. I’m just ready to go in there and compete.' 

Jackson is part of a great crop of athletes in this year's recruiting class. Despite playing wide receiver in high school, he has the versatility to move to a defensive position, likely safety or defensive back, if needed. 

Standing at 6'2", 175 pounds (via 247Sports.com), Jackson is right where you would expect a player coming out of high school to be physically. He is in terrific shape, but also has plenty of room to add more bulk to his rather slight frame. 

The biggest issue that his new team will face as he adjusts to college is trying to make sure that he can stay at wide receiver. Despite being able to play in the secondary, his value lies in his ability to make plays with the ball. 

It is rare to find a receiver who enters college with great hands and the ability to fight through traffic to get the ball. Jackson will struggle with that for the time being, until he gets stronger and can handle more physical defensive backs in college. But when he gets there physically, he has star potential. 

A big advantage that Jackson possesses right now is his speed, particularly off the line. He creates separation from defenders instantaneously by moving away from the line of scrimmage like he has been shot out of a cannon. 

You also have to be able to make defenders miss, which Jackson does with great ease. He can anticipate where a tackler is going to go, then shift his body away from them on a dime to create space. 

Whether Jackson is able to use that speed and elusiveness to start right away, or is forced to redshirt for a year to add more bulk to his body, remains to be seen. He has the potential to be a dynamic, impactful wide receiver at the college level sooner rather than later.