Malcolm Jackson, a defensive tackle from Mount Miguel High in Spring Valley, Calif., pretty much fits the definition of the under-the-radar recruit.
When it was learned today that he had committed to UW, fans and recruitniks scrambled ot get information about a player who has yet to get a rating from any of the major recruiting services.
But Jackson’s coach at Mount Miguel, Tom Karlo, says the Huskies will be getting a good player.
“They got a real sleeper,” Karlo said. “They saw him early and really went after him. … I think Washington got a steal.”
Karlo said that interest in Jackson skyrocketed during the spring visitation period once coaches made the trek to Mount Miguel and looked at his film.
“I was a little shocked at how much attention he was getting just because it was so early in the game,” Karlo said. “Within the first week, he had five offers. I was a little surprised. But at the same time, I didn’t doubt his talent at all.”
Karlo said Jackson now has “12 to 15 offers” six in the Pac-12, including WSU, Arizona and UCLA.
While Jackson is listed in some places as low as 225 pounds, Karlo said that “he was 257 when we weighed him last week” and that it’s his frame that was among the reasons coaches became quickly intrigued.
“He’s got the frame to go to 290 and play defensive tackle at the next level,” Karlo said.
That’s obviously highly valued, and a position where UW will need some reinforcements in 2011 with Alameda Ta’amu and Everrette Thompson each seniors next fall.
“He’s a three-technique defensive tackle with long arms and an athlete,” Karlo said — Jackson also plays basketball. “He’s 260 right now but he can easily get to 290. He power cleans 260, benches almost 275. And he’s a great kid — a real nice, straight-laced kid. Definitely a program kid who does everything right.”
Karlo said one reason Jackson was under the radar is that Mount Miguel hasn’t often in the past yielded a lot of recruits. In fact, said the school has had just one other Pac-12 player in the last 25 years —- former Husky Khalif Barnes. But Mount Miguel has gotten better the last few years under Karlo, going 8-2-1 last season.
“We are an upcoming program, so I think now the school is starting to get recognized,” Karlo said. “We went (8-2-1) last season and people see this very athletic defensive tackle really dominating the middle.”
Interestingly, Jackson has yet to visit UW — Karlo said Jackson and his father hope to take an unofficial visit soon. But Karlo said Jackson has been something of a UW fan of late, particularly after Washington’s appearance in the Holiday Bowl in nearby San Diego last year.
“The Holiday Bowl was a big deal for him,” Karlo said. “I think that’s where he first got (interested) in them. He’s a college football junkie so he really knew a lot about them.” Karlo said after Jackson got the offer, he did a lot of research about Washington on-line and decided that he wanted to commit to UW — Karlo said the commitment came “a couple of weeks ago.”
Assistant Jimmie Dougherty, who handles the San Diego area, had the lead on the recruitment of Jackson and Karlo said that “I think he really like the program in terms of what Jimmie told him and and he just felt really good about it.”
Karlo said UW has also offered another Mount Miguel player, defensive end/linebacker Cory Littleton. Karlo said Littleton also has a dozen or so offers and has yet to make a decision.