Dakota Jackson had no real timetable in place for when he wanted to decide his college future, but he saw no reason to continue the recruiting process. This past Saturday, the 6-4, 250-pound junior tight end verbally committed to Virginia Tech over interest from Connecticut, Maryland, Penn State and Virginia.
“It’s great,” the Northside (Roanoke, VA) product said of his commitment. “I feel like a burden is lifted. I get to play football for a major ACC program.”
Jackson was one of many junior targets in attendance for Virginia Tech’s February 26 junior day. The event made a significant impression on the Roanoke native, who enjoyed learning a different side of Virginia Tech.
“Growing up, I live really close to Tech, so they’ve always been high on my radar,” Jackson said. “Going up for the junior day, I got to see all of the academic stuff and all of the academic support the athletes get. It’s not just great athletics up there. When I went up there for the junior day, I realized Virginia Tech is an outstanding institution. The fact that it is so close to home, it has everything I’m looking for. I want to major in Engineering. It’s a great fit.
“It was a pretty clear-cut decision after going up for the junior day.”
In the days leading up to Saturday’s decision, Jackson says he and his parents “talked about [the decision] every night. Basically, it was about when I was going to make it. They were there to offer support. They weren’t forcing me one way or the other. We talked about it being close to home and being a great educational institution.”
The Northside standout called primary recruiter Bryan Stinespring on Saturday and committed. Stinespring serves as Jackson’s primary recruiter right now, and he’ll serve as the promising prospect’s position coach on the next level.
“He knows what he is looking for,” Jackson said. “I’m coming in to play a traditional tight end role, but he said I could be one of the ones they split out as well as put a hand on the ground.”
As a junior last season, Jackson had 18 catches for 343 yards and four scores in a run-oriented Northside offense. He played defensive end as well, totaling 14 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. Perhaps most significantly, though, is the fact that Jackson...
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