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Analysis: Gophers receive a commitment from four-star Kansas WR Daniel Jackson

06/30/2019, 8:45pm CDT
By Daniel House

The Gophers have received a commitment from four-star Kansas wide receiver Daniel Jackson. He chose Minnesota over offers from Iowa State, Wisconsin, Arizona State, Iowa, Notre Dame and others. Jackson, the No. 2-rated player in Kansas, visited the University of Minnesota on June 14. He recently spent time at Wisconsin and Iowa State, but decided Minnesota was his best fit. Jackson is the No. 54 ranked wide receiver in the country and holds a 0.9019 composite scoring, according to 24/7 Sports data. 

A 5-foot-11, 185-pound wide receiver, Jackson runs a 4.5 40-yard dash, a 4.26-shuttle and posted a 38-inch vertical, according to 24/7 Sports data. When looking at those numbers, you notice the agility and leaping ability are high in overall athletic percentiles. He is an explosive athlete and put up impressive numbers last season. Jackson had 54 receptions for 1,270 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2018. 

He is a vertical threat and his quarterback was confident finding him deep. On film, Jackson consistently used a double move and got extensive separation off his release. He is rather sudden in-and-out of breaks, which makes him very difficult to defend. Jackson was behind countless explosive plays of more than 40 yards. When a big play was needed, Jackson’s number was called. He can be used out of the slot or outside and has the play-making ability to create in space. With his superior short-range testing, he has the chance to be a difficult cover after he develops a more nuanced route tree. He’s a very fluid mover and it has allowed him to become a vertical threat at the high school level. 

The big takeaway from his tape is how well he can separate because of his initial foot quickness and releases. Minnesota has added another explosive weapon in the passing game. With wide receiver coach Matt Simon’s ability to develop talent, this school is quickly becoming a destination for young pass catchers. Once Jackson gets in the system, it will be fascinating to watch him develop. He was a player coveted by the Gophers and they pulled him away from several top-tier programs. 

Jackson is now the second player in the 2020 cycle from Kansas, joining top-rated running back Ky Thomas. The Gophers’ 2020 class now ranks No. 22 nationally and No. 5 in the Big Ten, according to 24/7 Sports.

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