Northside’s Jackson Lands First Offer

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Northside (Roanoke, VA) tight end Dakota Jackson ‘s wait for an FBS scholarship offer came to an end on Monday of this week, when Virginia Tech came through for the 6-4 junior. An impressive offseason helped Jackson, who is also drawing interest from Connecticut, Duke, Maryland and UVa.

Jackson performed well at the Virginia Tech and Virginia one-day camps last summer, but size was an issue with both programs. The Vikings star showed off a new physique, though, at Tech’s February 26 junior day.

“He listened very carefully to what [the Tech coaches] said. He chose not to play basketball and put his concentration in the weight room,” Northside head coach Burt Torrence said. “He went from playing around 218 or 220 pounds for me last year to being 245 right now. Dakota has really shown a lot of growth as far as strength.

“On the next level, they need physical blockers and good route runners who can catch the football. He has shown he can do those things. He is now up to 245 or 250 pounds and he is doing it the right way.”

Jackson’s reaction to the offer, of course, was a positive one according to his coach.

“He’s excited,” Torrence said. “There haven’t been many D1 offers to come through Northside. For him to be one of a select few, to get the opportunity is a sigh of relief. It’s a sigh of relief for him and his family to know education will be taken care of. Making the NFL would be great, but you are a student athlete first. It’s a great advantage to a family to have education paid for.”

Torrence, has mailed Jackson’s 2010 season film to every school in the ACC and a few programs in the SEC, was asked what the next step is for his talented rising senior. Jackson didn’t name a favorite in a December update, but this race could easily become an in-state competition.

“From what he has expressed to me, he’ll take a visit up to UVa and see how that goes,” Torrence said.

“He has been invited up to a junior day at UVa — a week from today (Thursday, March 10), I believe — and he is going to go. I hope they’ll see his work. I know [Cavaliers assistant] Scott Wachenheim has said Dakota is really the only tight end on their board. It’s just a