We're down to just 93 days left until the home opener, but since the bearer of the #93 jersey, Brennyn Dunn, appears to have departed, we'll highlight an as-yet numberless newbie today—Darreon Jackson
#93, Darreon Jackson, True Freshman, S
Weight: 185 lbs"
High School: Derby High School, Derby, KS
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Jackson was a bit of a rarity for the Broncos, both because he was from the historically dry (for the Broncos) recruiting state of Kansas and because he was what you might call a "rubber recruit" in that Boise State missed on him the first time around when he chose Texas Tech over the Broncos and then after re-considering, dropped the Red Raiders and pledged blorange. Jackson was rated a 3-star recruit by Scout, Rivals and ESPN and was also the top-rated player at his position in the state of Kansas. As a senior at Derby High School, Jackson was named the AVCTL-I Defensive MVP and was first-team all-league on defense and special teams after recording 126 tackles, 5 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries. As a returner, had a pair of punt return TDs and a pair of kick return TDs. As a junior, Jackson played for Mesquite Horn HS in Texas and was 1st team all-state at outside linebacker and also honorable mention all-state (5A) after notching 89 tackles, 4 INTS, 5 forced fumbles with 3 recoveries. Besides Boise State, Jackson fielded scholarship offers from Kansas, Kansas State, Texas Tech (obviously), Army, North Texas, Southern Illinois, Tulsa, UTEP, and Western Illinois.
Apologies to Darreon, but this reference is good for one Jackson per year.
Wait...is that Coach?
Must be hot in hurrr, because I'm seeing Nelly.
As a senior, voted league Defensive MVP as well as a first-team for defense ans special teams. 9th rated overall player in Kansas in 2015 (first in his position group). Scored 7 TDs as a senior without taking a single offensive snap. First team all district performer at Mesquite Horn as a junior, as well as honorable mention all-state.
Boise State's defense this year should be phenomenal—that's no real revelation. However, just because most expect big things from the Bronco D this season doesn't mean there aren't areas of concern—thankfully the concerns fall under the "relative concern" category. A "major concern" is when there's little depth at a position and a starter gets injured, a "relative concern" is when there's loads of depth, but not much experience, and that's where we sit with the safety unit. Currently, Boise State has ten safeties on the roster...more than enough when you consider we generally just use two at a time, but start unpacking those numbers a bit and there are some questions.
One safety, Dillon Lukehart, has medically retired—so cross him off the list right out of the gate...we're down to 9. Three safeties are true freshman—Evan Tyler, Damion Wright, and today's honoree Darreon Jackson. We're not going to count them out of our safety numbers, but experience is important in cerebral positions and it's at least a minor setback—so we're at 6 non-newbie safeties. One of those six, Kam Miles, will likely be playing nickel...so we're down to 5 non-newbie safeties. Oh, one of them, Skyler Seibold was a walk-on running back a year ago—so there's now 4 non-newbs at the position and one of them, Chanceller James is coming off a bad knee injury and didn't participate in Spring Ball. That leaves us 3 guys—walk-on Brandon Brown, All-MWC performer Darian Thompson, and true soph Dylan Sumner-Gardner that weren't injured or new to the position that actually participated in Spring Ball. Now, you can see why that'd be a MAJOR concern. It was...but injuries heal, and depth (like winter) is coming. Lack of experience is only a minor concern relative to the very real depth concerns of 2014 and Spring Camp 2015.
So with that out of the way...let's talk about Jackson. Chances are high that at least one of the true freshman safeties is going to play this year and breaking down film, offer lists, and stat sheets could lead one to conclude that Jackson might be the most likely candidate. Jackson put up some pretty impressive defensive numbers last season at Derby, and his versatility in playing more than one defensive position (OLB and safety) and his special teams prowess could make him an attractive addition to a safety position that needs to find some playmakers—for emergencies or just the occasional breather. We know Marcel Yates is going to use a lot of guys, "runners and hitters" as he calls them to overwhelm offenses. We have the guys up front to do just that, but the secondary, behind some all-conference starters hasn't truly found that yet. I think we find that in Fall Camp and Jackson is a great candidate. He's a ballhawk like Thompson, and can do great things if the ball is in his hands...Kent Riddle might be tempted to wet his feet on special teams at the very least. Bottom line—the future looks bright in the secondary and Darreon Jackson is a big reason why.
Is he on Twitter?
It's a bloodline pic.twitter.com/QO221dsLFv— Black Marino (@NikeTime) May 5, 2015
That's national champ Cardale Jones. He's also Darreon's cousin.
Completely Made Up Fact
Marcel Yates has been patiently waiting for months to jump out from behind a trash can and yell "YOU'RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE" to Jackson upon his arrival on campus.