The dead period has lasted the entire summer, camp season has been abbreviated, and football is somewhat still in limbo. Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin have been taking their time in this crazy cycle, picking and choosing their targets carefully and not rushing anything. This staff appears to be looking for a certain type of prospect at skill positions, recruiting athletic playmakers who have length and speed.
Well, check and check now that four-star outside linebacker Dink Jackson has verbally committed to the Rebels.
110% COMMITTED @TravGraf_Rivals @CoachBush23 @Coach_Gideon @Lane_Kiffin @CoachCPartridge @OleMissFB @EauGallieHC @CoachMiller53 @EGCoach_Ramos @QNHall_Uno_JTG @jblack_EG @CadenCosta13 @YoungbullTj pic.twitter.com/ulxbtKaqBt— Dink9️⃣ (@dink_jackson) July 31, 2020
The Eau Gallie High School product picked Kiffin and his staff’s pitch over notable staffs from Alabama, Auburn, Baylor, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State, Texas A&M, and West Virginia among several others.
The No. 20 outside linebacker in the country pointed towards his relationship with the defensive staff and their plan for him in their scheme as to why he chose the Rebels. Running backs coach Kevin Smith’s Florida connections certainly didn’t hurt either.
The 5A All-State selection is also an impressive athlete on the track as well, running the 100-meter dash in 11.04 seconds. But, on the football field, he shined even brighter a year ago, making 80 total tackles, 26(!) tackles for loss, and sacks. Then, on offense he helped out the Commodores by through the air and on the ground, collecting 656 all-purpose yards and scoring eight touchdowns.
How does he fit in?
There’s a lot to like about the 6’0, 185-pounder’s game. The Melbourne, Fla. native is extremely active on defense, playing close to the line of scrimmage with a nose for the football and dropping back into coverage defending the pass. His frame is long and certainly seems capable of adding some weight if he stays in the box, but his long arms and speed lend to him evolving into quite the safety.
Did I mention he can play some offense?
To me, I get a lot of Tony Conner vibes with his aggressiveness at the point of attack. As a junior, Dink forced four fumbles, blocked three punts, and recovered two fumbles. The newest Rebel commit is super disruptive from all three levels and should be an instant impact dude when he arrives in Oxford.