2012 Class: Northside TE Dakota Jackson

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The defending Group AA, Division 3 state champion Northside Vikings (Roanoke, VA) are 5-1 heading into tonight’s key matchup against undefeated Alleghany. One of the key contributors for the Vikings also happens to be a potential FBS prospect, and he is junior tight end Dakota Jackson .

Dakota Jackson is getting a lot of interest,” Vikings head coach Burt Torrence said. “He is getting letters and handwritten letters and I’ve gotten a few phone calls from Virginia and Virginia Tech as well as Connecticut. FBS schools are on him pretty good. I’m expecting he’ll be a high commodity in the coming class.”

Jackson, a starter at tight end and defensive end, is being recruited for his abilities on the offensive side of the ball.

“He has great hands,” Torrence began. “He caught the ball well at both the Virginia and Virginia Tech camps. All indications from the Virginia coaches are that he was the best tight end at camp this year, so I’m pretty sure he is high on their board. He is so physical. He is a physical blocker. It’s not just about his ability to catch the ball.”

Standing close to 6-4, Jackson seems primed to garner offers if he can show he can put on some weight.

“He lost some weight in the middle of his sophomore year and weighed in at camps at 210 pounds or so,” Torrence said. “He is about 220 pounds right now. He is a lean 6-4 kid, but he is a very strong young man. I see him putting on weight, no problem.

“I think the college coaches see him as a blue-chip tight end, but they are wanting to see what he does as far as weight before they offer. I think it’s just a matter of time. The key is also keeping up his speed. He is a low 4.6-second 40 kid and he’s powerful. For us, the film speaks for itself. He makes a lot of plays.”

Jackson attended several camps this summer to gain further exposure. It seems to have paid off.

“He went to Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech…all the ones where we sent film off to. All of those schools invited him, so he went to showcase himself. Those schools know him very well and are showing good interest in recruiting him.”

This fall, Jackson has attended