Like father; like son. That statement could very well sum up 6' 5", 250 pound University of Texas senior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat. Following in his father's footsteps, Jackson has proven himself to be a dynamic college football player. For his senior season in Austin, the younger Jeffcoat led the Longhorns with 80 tackles (the only defensive lineman in FBS football to lead his team in this category), 21 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, 18 quarterback pressures, and tied for the team lead with 3 fumble recoveries.
For his efforts on the gridiron in 2013 he was named as first team All- Big 12 by both the conference coaches and the media. Jackson was also named to the Walter Camp first team All-America squad, and he won the Ted Hendricks Award which is given annually to the top defensive end in college football. In addition, he was also selected as a second team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, SI.com, and several other national publications.
On the field, Jackson Jeffcoat brings a pro-ready combination of strength, athletic ability, and size that suits his position as an edge pass rusher. He gets off of the line quickly and he has a burst to quickly gain the advantage on offensive tackles. In addition to having the speed to beat his man around the corner, Jeffcoat is also strong enough to drive his opponent backward, should the situation call for it. For a bigger guy, Jeffcoat is light on his feet, and he uses the power in his lower body to his advantage. Jackson can quickly adapt from rushing the passer to shutting down the run. He generally plays with good pad level and leverage, but on occasion he has shown a tendency to be impacted by lapses in his technique. At those times, Jeffcoat often finds himself being driven by his opponent and taken out of the play.
The biggest question facing the young Longhorn defensive end is his durability. Over his four seasons in Austin, Jackson has suffered injuries that impacted his playing time or effectiveness on the field on three occasions. During his freshman year he lost a total of four games due to an ankle sprain, an issue that plagued Jeffcoat's prep career at Plano West High School. During his second collegiate season he ruptured his left pectoral muscle but managed to play through the injury. As a junior, Jackson Jeffcoat once again found himself victimized by a pectoral rupture, this time on the other side. This time, the injury cost the young man the remainder of his season, and perhaps a slot in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. With something to prove, Jeffcoat decided to return to school for his senior year and finally managed to endure for the entire season.
In addition to his stellar efforts on the gridiron, Jackson is proving himself to be a winner away from the game as well. He is highly involved with various youth activities in the Austin area, including "Read Across America". He is also a regular participant in the UT activities to benefit the young patients at Dell Children's Hospital.
While Jackson Jeffcoat did not regain the status of being a projected first round selection that he had before his 2012 injury, he did acquit himself well on the football field during his senior season. According to most sources, he is projected to be selected in either the late second or third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. While it is impossible to say that he will ultimately measure up to the 15 year, 102.5 sack career that his father had, Jackson Jeffcoat should be expected to deliver a solid performance in the National Football League for years to come.