We're featuring some of our HomeTeam 100 players, including our No. 45 player, Hernando LB/RB Jeremiah Jackson:
Jackson has built his high school football career on delivering powerful blows on both sides of the ball, through bruising carries on offense and bone-rattling hits on defense. For his senior season, Hernando’s depth in the offensive backfield could free up one of Tampa Bay’s top tacklers to wreak havoc on North Suncoast offenses.
“It doesn’t matter what type of shape you’re in,” Leopards coach Dwayne Mobley said. “If you’re going both ways all game and giving it your all every play, you get tired.”
And that’s what Jackson (6-0, 215) has done the past two years. He has rushed for 12 touchdowns and more than 1,200 yards in his high school career while racking up 250 tackles. UMass has offered him a scholarship to play running back, while smaller programs are recruiting him at linebacker.
Jackson’s 132 tackles led the Leopards to their third consecutive playoff appearance last fall, but much of that defense has graduated, including pass rushers Darren Hambrick and Robert Hill Bronson. Those losses — plus Jackson’s growing presence as the defensive leader — mean he’s more likely to focus on his biggest strength: Hammering offenses for four quarters.
“We do have a lot of good skill guys,” Mobley said, “but we don’t have anybody that contributes like he does in his defensive position.”