Jackson Showed Talent, Leadership At Northside

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Dakota Jackson enjoyed a productive 3-year career on the varsity level. He and the rest of the Northside (Roanoke, VA) senior class accomplished quite a bit over the past three seasons, accumulating a 32-5 overall record and winning a Group AA, Division 3 state championship in 2009. The Vikings went 11-1 this season, earning the top seed in the Division 3, Region III playoffs.

“It was a successful season,” Vikings head coach Burt Torrence said. “The kids played extremely hard and were able to go perfect in the regular season, which is difficult with the schedule we played. We try to schedule as tough a schedule as possible, and that enabled us to get a number one seed. We lost to a very good football team in Brookville (in the regional final), a team that is going to play for the Division 3 state championship.”

Jackson played tight end and defensive end at Northside. Recruited as a tight end, the versatile player is a receiving threat as well as a plus blocker.

“He brought his hard hat and did whatever necessary, whether that was blocking or catching a touchdown pass to beat Hidden Valley this season,” Torrence said of Jackson. “He did great things for our program. He definitely improved each and every year. I have a strong feeling he’ll be a significant contributor at Virginia Tech.”

Coach Torrence spoke to Jackson’s character, which seems to be just as impressive as his football abilities.

“He’s a leader. He’s a quiet leader, but he’s very intense and he has specific goals in mind. He sets those goals high,” Torrence said. “Tech strives for perfection. That’s the significance of the empty national championship trophy case. That’s kind of Dakota’s mentality. He wanted a perfect season. At the end of the day, he can look himself in the mirror and hold his head high.”

Jackson now stands at 6’4″ and weighs somewhere