Junior college transfer Will Jackson offers more immediate help for Nebraska defense

Junior college transfer Will Jackson offers more immediate help for Nebraska defense
Will Jackson had four interceptions for Mesa Community College last season. (Mesa Community College)

LINCOLN — Nebraska found immediate help on Tuesday for its depth-challenged cornerback position when Mesa (Arizona) Community College cornerback Will Jackson announced on Twitter he was committing to the Huskers.

He did not return voice or text messages from The World-Herald.

Jackson intercepted four passes last season at Mesa. He graduated from the junior college in May and should be eligible this season to compete for a key role among the Huskers’ cornerbacks, where only three players — Lamar Jackson, Eric Lee and Dicaprio Bootle — have significant experience.

At 6-foot-3, 192 pounds, Will Jackson is closest in stature to the 6-3, 210-pound Lamar Jackson. Will’s best talent, Mesa defensive coordinator Chenelle Jones said Tuesday, fits the aggressive new scheme of Nebraska defensive coordinator Erik Chinander.

“He plays great press coverage,” Jones said. “He’s a big presence when he walks up on that line (of scrimmage).”

Chinander’s pressure-laden, take-your-shot defense will use Husker corners in press coverage. Last season they typically played eight to 10 yards off the opposing receiver in a safer zone scheme.

Jones said Jackson runs a “legit” 4.5-second 40-yard dash and has the flexible hips of a smaller corner, which help in turning and running with fast receivers on deep routes. Jones compared Jackson favorably to another former Mesa defensive back, Damarious Randall, who now plays for the Browns in the NFL.

Jackson played just one season at Mesa after being dismissed in 2016 from Kentucky, which cited a violation of team rules.

Out of St. John’s College High School in Washington D.C., Jackson was a two-star commit to the Wildcats. Mike Ward, St. John’s director of football operations, described Jackson as a “late bloomer.”

Nebraska’s current defensive backs coach Travis Fisher has experience with that. He turned Mike Hughes, a 2017 signee for Central Florida, into a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

The Huskers have now added two players in the last week who give NU an immediate roster boost. Utah graduate transfer defensive tackle Vaha Vainuku picked the Huskers Friday. Earlier this summer, Husker coach Scott Frost said he’d add players to Nebraska’s program at any point if he saw they’d fit.