When you turn on the Hudl tape of D’Eryk Jackson it does not take long for you to gasp and say “wow”. The three-star prospect out of Dublin, Georgia who had 225 tackles and 26 tackles as a junior and senior for West Laurens High School packs a punch and is an old school box linebacker.
According to Jackson, he is putting in film work multiple times per week to learn the inside linebacker position in addition to all of the early workouts going on right now. The early enrollee believes he will play the Mike spot in UK’s 3-4 scheme and it was the development ability of the coaching staff that helped lure him to Lexington. By getting on campus early, Jackson is hoping to adjust quickly and that his physicality will travel from high school to college ball. “I just like hitting people.”
His tape certainly confirms that assessment.
When it comes to modeling his game after a certain player, D’Eryk Jackson mentioned a former five-star linebacker who played at Alabama and turned into a first round pick after winning the Butkus Award.
Reuben Foster is currently an inside linebacker for the Washington Redskins is an old school backer who is in the game to stuff the run and that is where D’Eryk Jackson will look to make an impact for Kentucky. “When I was young I used to like watching Reuben Foster. That’s who I really model my game after.”
The 250-pound true freshman was ranked as the No. 49 inside linebacker prospect per the 247 Sports Composite and chose Kentucky over Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Purdue. He does have an SEC background.
Jackson’s hometown of Dublin is just 119 miles south of Athens and it is most definitely in the middle of Bulldog Country. There was no love for the Atlanta Falcons, but the UGA ties went deep. “When I was growing up I was a real big Georgia fan, but I’m at Kentucky now.”
There’s no hiding from the fact that the next bar for this program to clear is winning the SEC East and to do that the Wildcats must defeat the Dawgs from Athens. Jackson said that it would mean a lot to him and that is understandable being from the Peach State. The Wildcats have reeled in seven Georgia natives in the last two classes.
Due to the the current personnel on the roster, there will be plenty of reps to be taken during spring practice. Jamin Davis, Chris Oats and DeAndre Square will get nearly all of the action with the ones but who runs with the twos is wide open. Junior college transfer Marquez Bembry seems to have a spot, but after that there are plenty of shoes to fill. D’Eryk Jackson will bring size and physicality to the position that UK doesn’t really have on the roster right now. He needs some time to develop, but he has the skills to potentially become an absolute force in run support from the Mike spot.