It's another strong year for quarterbacks out West and the top player on our board heading in to the season remains Long Beach Poly's (Calif.) Desean Jackson. We saw Jackson at a three way passing tournament featuring Los Alamitos and St. Bonaventure last week and were once again very impressed with his talent.
At 5-11, 160 pounds, Jackson isn't the biggest receiver on the block but has just about every other skill you could possibly want in a big time receiver. For starters, he has explosive speed and is able to run his routes and make his breaks without losing much of his explosiveness. His hands are as good as any receiver we've seen this year and his ability to run after the catch is also the best in the West region.
For those who haven't seen Jackson play before, his playing style is similar to that of an Isaac Bruce of the St. Louis Rams. Like Bruce, Jackson doesn't have track speed but is still able to burn just about anyone because of how explosive he is cutting in and out of his breaks and with his great hands, can be used as a possession receiver or deep threat.
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What some may not know about Jackson is he's equally talented in baseball and has a workout set up tomorrow with the Anaheim Angeles.
"I'm excited, they're my team," Jackson said. "Chone Figgins (current Halo starting third baseman) is one of my favorite players because I'm a lot like him in that I can play a lot of positions on the field. I play center field right now but I always played in the infield prior to high school. Some scouts were telling me it's good that I can do that because the more versatile you are, the better it will be for me down the road."
Jackson will have a busy Friday later in the week as Poly will be playing in the Nike 7 on 7 Passing Championship at USC and will also be trying out for the prestigious Area Code Baseball games the same day which will also be at USC. Both events are being produced by StudentSports.com.
"I'm looking forward to that," Jackson said. "At first I thought I would only be able to do the Area Code try out but they worked the schedule so I could do both. It should be a good time."
On the recruiting front, Jackson has a solid top five right now although he did say it can fluctuate from time to time.
"Right now, I really like USC, Cal, LSU, Arizona State and Washington State, those are my top five schools," Jackson added. "I'm not closing the door on other schools though, those are just the five I like right now. If I had to pick one that really stands out the most right now, it would probably be Cal. I really like Coach Tedford a lot and like what they're doing at Cal. I took an unofficial visit there after the Nike Camp at Stanford and liked what I saw.
"I think I'll probably take a couple of official visits before I decide but I doubt I'll take all five. I should be ready to decide sometime in the middle of the season but I need to see more of what else is out there. Right now, I've seen USC and Cal locally and also checked out Pittsburgh but I want to see everything before I make my decision."