Ole Miss Commit Dink Jackson Modeling His Game After Jamal Adams
Late last week jump started what had been a slow start to the recruiting trail for Lane Kiffin and Ole Miss in the 2021 recruiting class.
Landing Dink Jackson, a versatile four-star defender and SI All-American candidate, might have been Kiffin's signature get to this point. One of the more versatile defenders in the entire 2021 class, Jackson caught up with The Grove Report to talk Ole Miss and maybe more interestingly, how he models his game.
For a 6-foot-2, 185-pound safety/linebacker hybrid like Jackson, is there really a better player to model than one of the best in the business in that mold?
"It's Jamal Adams, no doubt," Jackson said, talking about how he models his game. "He plays safety but he comes down a lot. The physicalness and the versatility. He's always playing really physical, hitting guys and finding ways to get to the ball. That's really how I see myself."
Adams, the 6th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft out of LSU, has already established himself as one of the best in the game at that strong safety role, making back-to-back Pro Bowls by 24 years old, this past season named as a First-Team All-Pro player.
Recently, Adams was traded from the New York Jets to the Seattle Seahawks in a package that netted the Jets two first round picks. A safety that dropped into the box for 6.5 sacks and 10 tackles for loss in 2019, you can see form Jackson' SI All-American profile below how Adams would be a fun player to model:
Jackson is a very gifted athlete with the physical traits and overall skill needed to play several different positions at the next level. NFL ceiling comes on defense, where he pops getting after the passer and closing toward ball from defensive backfield. Positional designation may ultimately depend on size, but Jackson boasts long-term makings of an impactful, disruptive and versatile hybrid defender.
In the end, Jackson drifted towards Ole Miss despite not having ever taken an official visit. Truly, he was a priority to this staff. Lane Kiffin himself doesn't speak with every prospect coming in. Jackson said Kiffin, along with Chris Partridge and Devin Bush Sr., were the main recruiters.
For him, a big part of the decision to commit to Ole Miss came down to the ability to make an impact from day one.
"I'm really excited. They really made me feel like I was at home," Jackson said. "I'm a real priority for them and they're talking about me coming in early and playing as a freshman. For me that was really important."
For now, Jackson tells The Grove Report, his plan is to do just that – enroll in the spring and get a head start on playing as a freshman. He says the staff plans to use him in the 'star' defender – essentially a hybrid safety/linebacker that plays a do-it-all role in the multiple Rebel defense.
To get there, Jackson says his senior year will be primarily spent working on his man-to-man pass coverage out of the slot and trying to put on another 10 to 15 pounds, getting him closer to 200.