Lightning fast cornerback Buddy Jackson (6-foot-1 inches, 170 pounds) from Cypress Bay High School in Weston, FL was somewhat of an unknown commodity when he attended the Dave Wannstedt Summer Football Camp last summer. After running the forty-yard dash in 4.31 seconds and registering a broad jump of 10 feet, 11 inches, he was immediately offered a scholarship. Buddy committed to Pitt shortly after.
The PantherDigest.com recently spoke with Jackson about his official visit to Pitt on December 1st and his future with the Panthers.
“I had a great time on my official visit,” Jackson said. “It just felt like home when I was there. That’s important to me considering I’m going to spend the next four to five years there.”
Jackson’s host for the official visit was redshirt freshman defensive end Greg Romeus. “We were able to see everything from the football facilities to the Cathedral of Learning and Heinz Chapel. It was nice.”
Buddy spent time with Defensive Coordinator Paul Rhodes and Assistant Coach Charlie Partridge. When asked about their conversations, he stated, “They want me to enroll in June. I’m going to start summer classes in June and start learning the (defensive) system. I was told to show up in god shape and come ready to compete.”
Jackson has been described as “wiry but strong” due to his thin 6-foot-1 inch frame. “I have a thin build but I’m strong for my size,” he said. “I realize I need to add some muscle to play on the next level. I can easily add 15 to 20 pounds within the next few years.”
The University of Pittsburgh recently announced the hiring of former Alabama defensive backfield coach Chris Ball. Jackson was able to meet Coach Ball for the first time on Monday. It appears that he made a strong impression on Buddy. “Coach Ball was at my house on Monday. I really enjoyed meeting him,” he said. “He told me he was going to treat me like a son. He said he would praise me when I did something good and punish me when I did something bad.”
“Coach Ball and I are on the same page. I told him I like to play physical and “in your face”. He told me that’s exactly the way he likes to coach his defensive backs. He’s hoping that Coach Rhodes will let us play bump and run on every play.”
Scout.com ranks Jackson a “two-star” prospect. He had a strong senior showing, leading Cypress Bay High School to a 7-4 record. Buddy would like to major in criminal justice and someday become an FBI agent.
Jackson recently discovered that the Panthers received a verbal commitment from another cornerback from Florida, Sherod Murdock. Murdock, from Middleton, FL, committed to Pitt several weeks ago.
“I called Sherod the other day and we got to talk over the phone for the first time. I’m looking forward to playing with him. I told him he was going to play on one side and I would play on the other. We would show that Big East what Florida cornerbacks were all about.”
National Letter of Intent day is quickly approaching and Jackson is quite excited about the opportunity to sign with the Panthers. “It’s going to be a dream come true,” he said. “It’s been a long time going all the way back to little league. I’m fulfilling a dream and very happy with the school I have chosen. I can’t wait to get to Pittsburgh and participate.”
Harry G. Psaros can be contacted at email@example.com.