Oak Ridge senior wide receiver Rayshawn Jackson openly admits that he couldn’t beat former teammate Ricky Harper in a foot-race.
Catching Harper is no easy feat. It’s definitely something few defensive backs could do last year.
The track star and current wide receiver at Miles College in Fairfield, Ala., was a blazer on the gridiron. Harper scorched opponents as a deep-threat throughout a 2010 season in which he recorded a little more than 1,000 receiving yards.
But Jackson, who had 734 receiving yards last year, thinks he can better Harper’s 2010 statistics this season.
“I’m going to try my hardest,” Jackson said with a smile across his face. “I just really hope I do, but I wouldn’t be disappointed or anything.”
Surpassing the millenary mark in 2011 will be no sweat for Jackson if his Kickoff Classic performance versus Evans is any indication.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound wideout looked like he was capable of getting halfway to his goal in one game as he scored four times from 45, 8, 42 and 25 yards out. That was in just one half of play.
In the team's first official game of the 2011 season, Oak Ridge held off Sanford Seminole 32-26 last Friday night. Jackson did not get in the end zone, but had 100 yards on 6 receptions.
The senior already has eight offers but some schools are holding out to see what he can do in 2011.
“Arkansas is out there,” Jackson said. “They said they want to see three game films and UCF said the same thing too. It makes me just want to work harder.”
Kickoff Classic cutups will likely be sent out to both schools.
UCF is definitely enticing for the hometown prospect, as Jackson is friends with current Knight and former Edgewater star receiver Quincy McDuffie.
“I would really like to go there, I’d go there,” Jackson said. “I was talking to Quincy McDuffie, (Edgewater athlete Alton Howard) Pig’s brother. I was talking to him when we went on one of them visits there and he was like ‘it’s a pretty good school, we would like to have you and Andre Scott.’ They wanted Andre to come too. They offered him already, but they want some more game film.”
Topping Harper’s 2010 stats is a fun way for Jackson to stay motivated, but getting more offers, finding the right school and making it to college is really the end game.
“It just motivates me to play harder on the field so I can actually accomplish something in life like go to college and stuff,” Jackson said. “I’ll probably be the first one to go to college in my family.”
Jackson, who is ranked No. 35 on the Sentinel’s 2012 Central Florida Super60, has already taken his standardized tests and has qualified for college, which means he now is just looking to find the right fit.
He was recently offered by North Carolina and also has offers from Tennessee, Marshall, Memphis, Iowa State, Washington State, Temple and Savannah State.
“I probably like Marshall the best, they’re high on my list,” Jackson said. “Coach (Todd) Hartley (safeties coach,) I talk to him a lot, they want me to be a playmaker up there. He said I remind him a little of Randy Moss. I like being compared to a great receiver like Randy Moss.”
Jackson’s top four currently consists of Marshall, Memphis, Iowa State and Washington State because of their pass-oriented offenses.
But Jackson could be in a position to reevaluate his recruitment if he gets more offers, which is completely plausible with new and improved film he will be sending out to colleges. A finish-line goal of more than 1,000 receiving yards could garner some more interest as well.
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