The Battle for Dylan Jackson
There’s yet another recruiting battle brewing between Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Dylan Jackson is at the center of it.
The 6-foot-6, 235-pound junior prospect from Maryville (Tenn.) High has reason to like both schools. Vandy was the first to notice him, invite him to a camp and offer him a scholarship.
“I was at spring practice my freshman year and Vanderbilt asked me to come out to their camp,” Jackson said. “I talked to their coaches and they said they really liked me. That’s when I first actually started believing I could do something with myself [in football] so I started working harder.”
Vandy has another advantage as well. One of Jackson’s friends, former Maryville quarterback Patton Robinette, is a redshirt freshman for the Commodores.
“I really like Vandy,” Jackson said. “Nashville is a great city…He said he really enjoys it.”
Tennessee, however, has proximity on its side. A transplant from Illinois, Jackson said he’d like to play college football close to his current home. UT’s coaching staff has also made a positive impression.
“I love the intensity they bring to the field,” Jackson said. “I’ve been to a couple of practices. I went to the spring game. I just love the intensity and fire they bring to it.”
Jackson’s frame makes him stand out at passing camps. It also makes him versatile. Jackson said he wants to play defensive end but certainly could play tight end. On defense, his athleticism is his strength.
“I’d rather hit people than be hit,” Jackson said. “I like to play a more athletic game. I like to be able to run over somebody if I need to but I prefer to get around them.”
Clemson is the other school showing strong interest. However, the Tigers haven’t offered a scholarship yet. Tennessee recently did so. Clemson has seen Dylan Jackson up close. He attended a camp there this summer.
If Clemson wants in the race, they should hurry. Jackson said he wants to make a decision next spring or early summer.
“I want to be the guy that gets on board and starts recruiting other guys,” Jackson said. “That’s my goal.”
Jackson said he’s not sure if or when he’ll take other visits. Fortunately for the Vols, it’s a short drive to Knoxville.