Stormy weather may have put the brakes on the Wyoming ground attack Saturday, but it didn’t scare away the team’s top safety prospect.
“It was a lot of fun,” Douglass County HS (Colo.) senior Tyler Jackson said of his official visit to Laramie this past weekend. “Of course, it would have been good if (Wyoming) would have won, but it was still a good trip and everything.”
The Pokes’ dismal 20-3 Homecoming loss to New Mexico didn’t seem to disturb Jackson, who is one of only three safeties currently holding an offer from the Cowboys.
“I liked the way they came back and had that goal line stop,” he said of Wyoming’s final defensive stand late in the fourth quarter. “It was kind of tough coming out after that break; (New Mexico) kind of scored quick on them. But it’s all good. You can’t base it off of one game.”
A three-star secondary prospect, Jackson is ranked as the 45th best safety in high school football this year by Scout.com.
A commitment from the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder would go a long way in filling a few voids sure to be left by Wyoming’s ‘07 graduating class. All four of the Pokes’ starters in the secondary are seniors this season, and Jackson has the skills to potentially see playing time fairly early in his UW career—if he chooses the Pokes.
“I think they take the talent that they get, and they do really good with it,” he said of Wyoming’s coaches. “That’s always good to see how they can make people perform and everything like that. Obviously, they’re good coaches.”
Still, the Pokes face some stiff competition for the senior’s services in ’08. In addition to Wyoming, Jackson already holds offers from Kansas, Colorado State, Washington State and Air Force, and he has been receiving heavy interest from Northwestern and San Diego State of late.
“I still don’t want to throw out any kind of list,” he said when asked which school he is leaning toward. “I definitely liked what I saw at KU, and I know although CSU is struggling, I’ll still definitely check them out. I’m going to check out and see if Sonny Lubick is staying around.”
Jackson said he plans on making an official visit to CSU soon, and he already has one scheduled for Kansas in December.
“Definitely KU is up there,” he said. “I mean, baseball and football, I’ve heard nothing but good things about their campus.”
An extremely intelligent student-athlete (he currently carries a 3.8 GPA), Jackson said this summer that academics will be a big part of his college choice.
“Academically, I know Wyoming has a lot of resources out there, and they can get you almost any kind of major really,” he said in July.
He added that Northwestern is “probably the best school” he’s talked to academically, however, and an offer from the Wildcats could go a long way in drawing his attention away from the Pokes.
“My coach just sent out film to them,” he said. “I don’t know why we didn’t get it out to them earlier, so I think they’re just now looking at it.
“We’ll just see if that (offer) comes…I’m kind of starting to try to narrow it down now…so I don’t want to keep on waiting for stuff that’s not happening.”
Jackson joked about cold temperatures in Laramie during an interview with CowboyBlitz this summer, saying he was “leaning toward somewhere warm.” Ironically, the weather almost could not have been worse during his visit, and yet even a two-hour lightning delay followed by brief snows and heavy rains for much of the second half didn’t douse his interest in the possibility of becoming a Cowboy—at least, not too much, anyway.
“It is what it is,” he said. “I mean, I’ve lived in Colorado my whole life and everything, and out of all the other offers I’ve got, the weather will probably be pretty much the same everywhere.
“(Wyoming) just built that new indoor facility…so if the weather ever gets too bad, you can just go inside.”
Jackson earned all-conference and honorable mention all-state honors last year, racking up 17 pass break-ups and 50 tackles. He hasn’t let up in ’07, either. In a game against Rangeview earlier this year, he had three interceptions and a fumble recovery and return for a touchdown.
“I have six interceptions, though one was called back, so I guess I have five,” he told Scout.com last week. “I also have two touchdowns, a fumble recovery and a reception.
“I’m satisfied so far. I think I have a lot of room to improve but so far I’m playing pretty good.”
Wyoming coaches definitely agree, and after giving up too many big plays to the Lobos through the air last weekend, they’d be more than happy to see the Colorado senior wearing a Cowboys’ jersey next year.