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Three Schools Stand Out for Top 2011 DT

If there is one place where a team can never have too much depth it is at defensive tackle. Look no further than the Texas Longhorns’ 2009 roster to see how quickly the tide can turn.
With the graduation of Aaron Lewis and Roy Miller, Jamarkus McFarland ultimately picking Oklahoma over the Horns, Jarvis Humphrey’s health problems and the issues that surfaced this week with Derek Johnson and Michael Wilcoxon, the defensive tackle position is now a spot where the Horns will be counting on true freshmen Calvin Howell and perhaps Tevin Mims to play quality snaps this season.And with two more DTs playing their final season in the Orange and White (Ben Alexander and Lamarr Houston), the Horns will not hesitate to add some quality pieces at the position in the class of 2011 even with three big time defensive tackle commits (Taylor Bible, DeAires Cotton, Ashton Dorsey) already locked up for 2010.The early choice as the state’s best prospect in the class is Spring Westfield’s Desmond Jackson, who has been very impressive on the camp circuit throughout the spring and early summer.Jackson’s body and playing style looks very similar to Roy Miller’s. The 6-foot-1, 266-pound Jackson displays tremendous explosion off of the ball and is the type of tackle that commands double teams on every snap. He is a gap-penetrating tackle that can be a one technique nose tackle because of his size and ability to disrupt plays but he can also slide out to be a three technique tackle because of quickness off of the ball. “My strengths are my strength, my quickness and my pad level,” said Jackson about his strengths as a player at this early stage of his career. “My agility is getting better, too.”A member of the Inside Texas 2011 Watch List, Jackson had an outstanding sophomore season for the Mustangs posting 64 tackles, 21 tackles for loss and four sacks while earning District 13-5A Newcomer of the Year honors.Being a productive player at a position in recruiting where a premium is placed on talent, Jackson has already seen interest come in from schools across the country but he said that three schools are standing out in his eyes right now.“The biggest ones that stand out to me right now are Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama,” said Jackson.Jackson attended Texas’ one day minicamp in June for 2011 prospects and one thing working in the Horns’ favor is the fact that the Westfield standout is already familiar with the city of Austin.“I lived a couple of years in Austin,” said Jackson. “The city is real nice.”Hurricane Ike threw a huge curveball at Westfield last season but despite the life-altering distraction of a natural disaster the Mustangs finished the regular season with a 5-3 record and made the playoffs. The sour note was a first round playoff exit but with Jackson returning to lead the defense and 2010 Kansas commit Jacoby Walker guiding the offense the Mustangs will look to improve in 2009.Jackson said spring football was a productive session at Westfield and the Mustangs are ready to roll this fall.“Spring ball went well for us,” said Jackson. “We got better as a group and I feel like I had a good spring. In the weight room we busted it and worked hard.”Jackson said he learned a lot from his freshman season to his sophomore year and expects to see bigger and better things from himself as a junior.“The biggest difference for me is to make sure that I’m more focused and better,” said Jackson. “I was better from my freshman year to my sophomore year and I want to be focused on having a better junior year.”The recruiting focus on Jackson, though, is already on.