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JC Jackson leads Maryland’s young cornerback corps into 2017

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Profiles in Terpage opens Cornerbacks Week with one of the presumed leaders at the position.

NCAA Football: Maryland at Central Florida Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Profiles in Terpage is back for 2017. Last week, we focused on the linebackers; this week, we’re venturing into the secondary with Cornerbacks Week.

JC Jackson, CB, No. 7

Height: 6’1
Weight: 193 lbs.
Year: Redshirt junior
Hometown: Immokalee, Florida
High school: Immokalee

How he got to College Park

Jackson was an Under Armour All-American in 2013 and a highly regarded four-star recruit as both a wide receiver and cornerback. He signed and enrolled at Florida before being charged, then acquitted of, armed robbery. The SEC has a “serious misconduct” rule, so he ended up spending two years at Riverside Community College since he couldn’t transfer in the conference.

He was injured and ended up redshirting his true freshman season at Riverside, before making 25 tackles, including 20 solo tackles, and forced two fumbles, recovering one, in his redshirt freshman year. Jackson then transferred to Maryland in June 2016, impressed early and earned a starting job going into the season. After sitting the first game due to academics, he wound up starting in 11 of the 12 games he played for the Terps last season.

Career highlight

After Jackson was cleared, he had a solid first season in College Park. He finished his sophomore season with a team-high six pass breakups and ranked second among Maryland cornerbacks with 40 tackles, including 29 solo takedowns. Jackson added an interception, forced fumble and a blocked kick to his season’s stat line.

2017 prospectus

Jackson is one of Maryland’s few known quantities at the position. He’s projected to start on the outside and own half of the field. Jackson will be called upon to be a leader in this young secondary, so expect coach DJ Durkin to show confidence in his coverage skills.

Jackson will be tasked with defending the top opposing receiver on a weekly basis, and has to hold strong, for the rest of the secondary to do the same. Maryland has some tough players on its schedule this season, and Jackson will have to step up to the challenge.

Dream season

Jackson lives up to the lofty expectations, once attached to him with his recruiting acclaim, and turns his side of the field into an island. He leads all cornerbacks in tackles, repeats his performance atop the pass breakup leaderboard and adds a couple takeaways to his stats. Jackson then enters his senior season as a two-year starter, creating and building a draft stock for himself.

Up next

This player saw some early-season action as a true freshman last year.

Scaletta is first on the board this week.