BY JEREMY HOECK
In an effort to improve the overall team speed, the football coaches at the University of South Dakota made a concerted effort to recruit the state of Florida more aggressively.
One of the products of that effort is Shamar Jackson, a 5-foot-8, 160-pound running back from Pahokee.
Jackson, who played both ways as a safety and running back, finished his senior season with 930 rushing yards and six interceptions on defense.
He talked Wednesday about his decision to sign with USD and what he sees as the future of the program.
How’d you decide what side of the ball to focus on?
“Coach actually asked me which would I prefer, so I told him offense. Then he said they planned to use me as a running back and slot receiver.”
How anxious are you to be a Coyote?
“I told my mom, ‘I’d leave today if I could.’ I’m ready to get up there.”
What put you over the top in choosing USD?
“That was my only offer, so it was a pretty easy choice.”
What’s your impression of the program?
“I asked some of the guys questions like that when I was up there (in January). I love it, I like what they did with the recruiting process. They got a bunch of Florida kids. It’ll be pretty cool, I’ve got people from my area that are going up with me.”
How do you think you progressed into being a D-I recruit?
“Defense-wise, I got better at reading the defense; something I didn’t do as well my junior year. On offense, I got in the open field more.”
What can you bring to the program?
“I think if I can get in the open field, that’s when I know nobody can catch me.”