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Florida State signee analysis: Shambre Jackson scouting report

A versatile option up front.

Murphy Jones/Tomahawk Nation

It is starting to feel like the Florida State Seminoles have a 4-star commitment waiting to commit anytime they need a little momentum. Coming off the first victory of the season and heading into a tough contest against Notre Dame, maybe, today was the right time for a big time commitment. That big time commitment goes by the name of Shambre Jackson, 4-star defensive line prospect, out of Boone High School in Orlando, Florida:

Landing a big time prospect like Jackson has to make head coach Mike Norvell and his staff very happy. Jackson has been a top target for the coaching staff since they stepped foot on campus and they were able to beat out the likes of the Alabama Crimson Tide, Auburn Tigers, LSU Tigers, and Texas A&M Aggies. It has to feel good knowing they won a recruiting battle, for a defensive line prospect, against some SEC powers.

I will be using 2020 footage for Jackson and he lines up primarily at nose tackle. It is the belief of our recruiting team that Jackson will be playing defensive tackle at Florida State. In past seasons Jackson has been a defensive end but his 6’2 230 pound frame suggests he may be better suited inside. Lets take a look at a couple of things that Jackson does well.

Scouting Report

First step quickness

Were Jackson playing on the edge in this play I would not define his first step quickness as a strength. However, lining up over the center Jackson is out of his stance and in attack mode before the center has stepped. This type of first step quickness is what you need to be successful as a defensive tackle. When a DL can have such an advantage with his first step it allows him to control the leverage. You can see in this play that Jackson is engaged well before the center is in position to block and executing a swim move.

This type of explosiveness is something the Seminoles are lacking inside. You can get an idea of what Jackson might be able to do in a 1-gap scheme which Adam Fuller wants to be able to run. As a 3-tech DT it is easy to picture Jackson being able to get up the field and create chaos with this type of quickness off of the ball.

Shedding blockers

A skill often overlooked by some is the ability to shed blockers. You can be explosive and have all of the moves in the world but if you can’t get into an offensive linemen, hand fight, and shed then you will never be very good. We get a good shot of Jacksons ability to hand fight, gain leverage, and shed in the following clip. Jackson uses that first step, works his hands inside, bench presses and sheds the center off of him. This is good technique, though he plays a little high, for a player who hasn’t played much defensive tackle. What I really love is he is finding and seeking the football at the same time.

You cannot make a tackle if you are engaged with an offensive linemen so shedding is a must. Robert Cooper is a very good defensive linemen for Florida State but one area he struggles is getting off of blocks. Many times he is five yards in the backfield but still engaged with a blocker. A defensive linemen must shed and finish plays or they are not effective.

Whole Package

What I like about Jackson is his ability to be the complete package as a player. I wish we had shots of him rushing the passer but his 2020 highlights did not have any clips. What I like about this clip is it gives you an idea of what he can be as a complete run defender. Here Jackson takes on a double team, uses that explosive first step to gain leverage, holds his ground as the center works off, defeats the guard and makes the tackle.

This is a perfect example of what a two-gap defensive tackle might look like. Jackson is in control of the guard the whole time and is able to shed (there’s that word again) and finish (feel like we’ve heard this before also). Jackson will be a bit of a project as he slides inside to DT but you get a sense of what that will look like. Odell Haggins and the defensive staff have to be excited to get a player like this to develop along the DL.

There is no debating that Jackson is a huge pick-up for FSU and the defensive line. Will he be able to add the girth to play inside? That remains to be seen but I think he can contribute all along the DL if asked to and play a hybrid role if needed. Could Jackson play defensive end some next season as he transitions to DT? They are going to need him either way. This is a player who reminds me some of a Demarcus Walker/Brandon Graham who were shorter/squattier DE’s who could have bulked up and played inside or stayed on the edge.