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DT Jackson jumps to No. 1 in state

Arkansas has a new No. 1 in the state player rankings from 247Sports.

Bijhon Jackson committed to Arkansas on Dec. 20. As a junior, he had 67 tackles, including 12 for loss and six sacks, and forced a fumble.

El Dorado defensive tackle Bijhon Jackson is now rated a 96, a four-star recruit and the top player in the state for the Class of 2014. In addition, with this week’s update to the Top247, Jackson (6-2, 320 pounds) is now the No. 62 overall prospect nationally and the No. 7 defensive tackle.

Jackson, who is committed to Arkansas, was previously rated an 87 and a three-star prospect.

“I think the thing with Bijhon, it’s more of his upside,” Gerry Hamilton, the National Director of Scouting for 247Sports, said Friday. “I’m talking more upside physically, as he reshapes his body and he continues to ascend in that regard. I think that’s kind of what we like about him. I think athletically, he’s underrated. When you see him in person at the U.S. Army Combine or you see him on video, he’s got really good initial quickness. He’s a better athlete than given credit for. I think he’s got the ability to slide laterally. He also does a good job of staying on his feet for a big kid.

“He’s truly a strong kid. He did 28 reps of 185 (pounds) at the U.S. Army Combine. So I think he’s got some natural strength in him. And I think as he continues to add strength and also reshape his body, lose a little weight, the foot quickness, the initial quickness, the flexibility – all the other stuff is there. The baseline’s still set.”

Jackson jumped one of his good friends in the state player rankings – Springdale Har-Ber four-star defensive tackle Josh Frazier.

Frazier (6-2 ¾, 324), who has the same birthday as Jackson, is also rated a 96 four-star by 247Sports and is the No. 2 player in the state, the No. 69 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 9 defensive tackle nationally.

In the 247Composite rankings – an industry average based on prospect rankings and ratings listed in the public domain – there’s not much difference in the two, either, but Frazier is ranked a little higher as the No. 1 player in the state, the No. 70 overall prospect in the nation and the No. 6 defensive tackle. Jackson is the No. 2 player in Arkansas, the No. 7 defensive tackle and the No. 91 overall prospect in the 247Composite rankings.

“When we looked at him (Jackson) vs. Josh Frazier, when you see him (Frazier), he looks better, an on-the-hoof guy,” Hamilton said. "I think Bijhon’s a better athlete, though, than Josh is. And maybe a more aggressive player than Josh is. Bijhon’s 6-1 ¾, 6-2, Josh Frazier was 6-2 ¾ at the Under Armour Combine. So there isn’t a huge differential in height there. … I think Bijhon’s got a little more versatility. I think Josh is a nose guard, 0 (technique) guy, and he’s more of an anchor player. Where Bijhon can make athletic plays at defensive tackle.”

Hamilton believes Jackson is a more physical player than Frazier.

“I think the only with him (Jackson) is where is his body going to go and kind of is he going to maximize his potential more from a physical standpoint than anything else, because he’s got a lot of talent,” Hamilton said.

Regardless of who’s No. 1 and who’s No. 2, it’s rare that the state of Arkansas produces two defensive tackles ranked among the Top 100 overall prospects nationally.

“Here’s another one – Jarvis Cooper. Love him on video out of West Memphis,” Hamilton said.

“That kid is a really good athlete. So when you look at the state, the Arkansas state rankings, you see those three guys and when you consider the athlete Jarvis Cooper is – 6-2, 253 when JC (Shurburtt, 247Sports’ National Recruiting Director) was through there a few weeks ago, plays tailback in high school, plays linebacker, plays defensive end …That’s a guy who could end up being a 290-pound interior player as well. So you could end up with three really good interior defensive line prospects out of that class.”

Cooper has a 90 rating from 247Sports and is a four-star recruit who’s ranked the No. 243 overall prospect, No. 13 weakside defensive end and the No. 3 player in the state.

For the updated Top247, click HERE.

For 247Sports’ 2014 state rankings for Arkansas, click HERE.

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