Will Jackson

Will Jackson, who played at Mesa Community College last season, is eligible to play immediately for the Huskers.

Will Jackson III was sitting in class at Mesa Community College in Arizona one day this spring when his football coach told him that coaches from Nebraska coaches were on campus. 

They had interest in Jackson, but wanted to see how big he really was. 

"A lot of coaches see my height and they think it's overexaggerated," Jackson told the Journal Star with a chuckle.  

He's all of 6 feet, 3½ inches. Ryan Held and Travis Fisher were sold. 

A few weeks of recruiting later, the Huskers have a new addition with immediate eligibility in their secondary room. 

Jackson announced his verbal pledge to the Huskers via Twitter on Tuesday afternoon and confirmed to the Journal Star that he plans to be on campus and enrolled here this summer. 

"It's surreal, honestly, because of the process I had to go through to get back in this situation," Jackson said. "I'm ready to just get up there and work." 

Jackson graduated last week and, though he doesn't know exactly when he'll be in town, he thinks it will be by the end of the month. 

Mesa defensive coordinator Chenelle Jones thinks he'll have an immediate impact. 

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"We have what we call good or great," Jones said. "(Current Cleveland Browns defensive back) Damarious Randall — first-round pick, All-American — was great. We feel Will is not good, he's great. We feel he should be the next one of that caliber."

In nine games for the Thunderbirds in 2017, Jackson logged four interceptions and three breakups in addition to 24 tackles. 

"I love press coverage and I think I use my length to my advantage," Jackson said. "I think I have really good feet, quickness, lateral movement and straight-line speed. I think I can do everything, but I also want to keep improving on everything, too, because I haven't even scratched close to my potential." 

Jackson is originally from Washington, D.C., and attended St. John's College School. He's actually been to Lincoln, though it was early in his high school career as part of a summer camp tour. He eventually signed with Kentucky in 2015, redshirted and was dismissed in February 2016 for a violation of team rules. He spent time at Iowa Western, but never actually played there.

After one year in Arizona, he's back to Power Five football. 

"There were some rough times, but in the back of my mind I always expected to make it back," he said. "It wasn't about how big (the school) or where I was going, I just never want anybody to say I'm a quitter. Even if you do make mistakes in the past, you can always come back." 

Position Freshman RS Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior
QB (3) Luke McCaffrey Adrian Martinez
Noah Vedral*
RB (6) Ronald Thompkins Maurice Washington Dedrick Mills* Wyatt Mazour*^
Rahmir Johnson Jaylin Bradley*
TE (6) Chris Hickman Katerian Legrone* Austin Allen* Jack Stoll*
Kurt Rafdal* Travis Vokolek
WR (10) Jamie Nance Andre Hunt* Jaevon McQuitty* JD Spielman* Jaron Woodyard*
Darien Chase Mike Williams
Wan'Dale Robinson Kanawai Noa*
Demariyon Houston
T (7) Bryce Benhart Broc Bando* Brenden Jaimes Christian Gaylord*
Matthew Anderson Matt Farniok*
Jimmy Fritzsche
Brant Banks
G (5) Michael Lynn Trent Hixson* Boe Wilson*
Matt Sichterman* John Raridon*
C (3) Ethan Piper Will Farniok*
Cameron Jurgens*
DE (12) Ty Robinson Tate Wildeman* Chris Walker* Ben Stille* Khalil Davis*
Mosai Newsom Casey Rogers* Deontre Thomas* Jahkeem Green Carlos Davis*
DaiShon Neal*
DT (3) Damion Daniels* Darrion Daniels*
Vaha Vainuku*
OLB (8) Garrett Nelson David Alston* Caleb Tannor JoJo Domann* Tyrin Ferguson*
Jamin Graham Pernell Jefferson* Alex Davis*
ILB (6) Nick Henrich Collin Miller* Mohamed Barry*
Jackson Hannah Will Honas*
Garrett Snodgrass
S (6) Myles Farmer Marquel Dismuke* Eric Lee Jr.*
Noa Pola-Gates Deontai Williams* Avery Anderson*
Jeremiah Stovall*^
CB (7) Javin Wright Braxton Clark* Cam Taylor Dicaprio Bootle* Lamar Jackson
Quinton Newsome Tony Butler*
ST (1) Barret Pickering (K)
Class Total 25 8 17 18 17
Overall Total 85
*Player has used redshirt
^Added for 2019 season

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


Sports writer

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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