Underrated defensive end is working hard to make his impact

Underrated defensive end is working hard to make his impact

David Perez
Joe Jackson.jpg


In an era where players are told they will be superstars from the moment they step on the field, Miami freshman defensive end Joe Jackson knows nothing is set in stone.

“Nothing is guaranteed,” Jackson said to me while speaking about his role on the team. “So right now, I just have to keep working hard at what I’m doing.”

Hard work has never been a stranger to Jackson, who enters Miami as a freshman this season out of Gulliver Preparatory School in Homestead, Florida. As a four star prospect coming out of High School, Jackson committed to Miami in January of 2016. Jackson immediately showed a lot of potential out of high school, but with a new coach and a talented front four in Coral Gables, Jackson knew he had his work cut out for him.

Rather than shy away from the challenge; however, Jackson has gotten better; learning one day at a time.

“It is a lot of practices, its tough. Guys are going through stuff for the first time and they are challenged every day like they are never challenged before.” Miami defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski said when speaking about the adjustment of a freshman like Joe Jackson. “It’s tough sometimes to still focus on getting better every day, but if he does that he is going to be a great player. He needs to focus on getting better and staying focused, but he loves football.”

As a freshman stepping into a new role in 2016, Jackson enters a talented Miami front. Led by upperclassmen Al-Quadin Muhammad and Chad Thomas on the outside, Miami’s defensive line has many veteran leaders. This season should serve as learning one for Jackson, who is taking in advice on a daily basis from the experienced lineman.

“They help with everything and they don’t beat around the bush,” Jackson said while speaking positively about his teammates. “They tell you what you are doing wrong, if you have to do them they tell you do go back and get extra reps. I mean, they are trying to push up to help us become better, they want to trust us so we can come in.”

And while Jackson is closely observing how those around him play at the collegiate level, he himself plans to work on his physical shape. The defensive end is currently listed at 6-5 250 lbs, but by the time this season ends Jackson hopes to be “255 or 260” pounds, all while working with his nutritionist to improve his body percentage. Jackson is already in good shape coming into his freshman year, but with more work and added conditioning, Jackson should be able to reach around the same weight as junior Chad Thomas.

Jackson will focus on improving for his future as a ‘Cane, but after hard work in practice, the freshman will be ready to step in as soon as possible.

“The thing is, if he gets a chance to play this year, he just needs to go in there and be the best player he can be,” Coach Kuligowski said. “The things that he is doing well is that he’s being coachable, he is playing extremely hard, and he is not timid. He is not being arrogant or anything, but he is certainly acting like he fits in.”

And with a new coaching staff entering campus and the first game less than a month away, the group’s overall unity has Jackson excited about 2016.

“I think we are gonna have a great defense, a great team overall, and hopefully I’ll get to play and get a chance to show what I can do,” Jackson said.

Whether Jackson’s impact is felt this year or not, there is little doubt that he has become a large part of this defensive line’s future moving forward.
 

Comments (17)

Welcome to the staff David! Great to have another writer on board, CIS has been absolutely steam-rolling lately.

Personally love JJ, he'll be our starter once AQM and Chad leave.
 
I have no doubt this kid will be an All-American and a 1st rounder. He has everything, size, speed, intensity and most of all he's a good kid.
 
Hes going to be a force soon. Coach Kool called him the best de in the nation last year. If AQM has a dominant year and decides to leave, hel be fighting for that starting spot. Id love to be able to redshirt him, but i think he can provide something for us down the stretch even with our DE depth.
 
Thanks for the article.

If he's overlooked, it's not by many Canes fans.

I think he's the best pro prospect and most likely 1st rounder from the incoming class - just beating out Ahmmon Richards.

I think the most understated (in terms of hype) and a likely a late riser is Zach Mccloud. Really interested in his ceiling as a modern, rangy LB.
 
Demetrius Jackson is more fitting of the underrated label even this being his 3rd year in the program. As for Joe Jackson, I haven't been this excited about a true freshman DE since Calais Campbell and I'm higher on Jackson. He has all the tools to be an AA DE.

This defense is going to be scary very soon with Joe Jackson, DJ Johnson, Gerald Willis, RJ McIntosh, Jon Ford, Shaq Quarterman, Michael Pinckney, Zach McCloud, Waynmon Steed, Brian Edwards, DJ Dallas, Trajan Bandy, Chris Henderson Romeo Finley, Jaquan Johnson and Billy Gibson. Add the 2018 kids and we are building a suffocating unit.
 
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U know it's crazy that we complain about depth but our front 7 has a lot of top end recruits who have only managed to show flashes under Golden's patty cake. Will be great to see them cut loose and use their natural talent which we know is there. We have depth issues of course but particularly on the DL we should never have problems harassing the QB and stuffing the RB.

Sent from my SM-G925T using Tapatalk
 
Thanks for the article.

If he's overlooked, it's not by many Canes fans.

I think he's the best pro prospect and most likely 1st rounder from the incoming class - just beating out Ahmmon Richards.

I think the most understated (in terms of hype) and a likely a late riser is Zach Mccloud. Really interested in his ceiling as a modern, rangy LB.

Co-sign on McCloud. With our lack of current depth at LB I'd love to see him in on some blitz packages this year to get him heading downhill in a hurry and ease him along throughout the season.
 

2021 Commits

S
6'5"
220
Fort Lauderdale, FL
DT
6'4"
255
Miami, FL
OG
6'2"
295
Miami, FL
DT
6'4"
290
Miami, FL
DE
6'5"
210
Miami, FL
WR
6'2"
180
Miami, FL
RB
6'0"
225
Hollywood, FL
TE
6'4"
210
Frisco, TX
STR
6'3"
190
Melbourne, FL
S
5'11"
200
Miami, FL

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