Michael Jackson III has a bright future with the Desert Pines Jaguars

Michael Jackson III wants to make the best of his new situation at Desert Pines High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.

He transferred to Desert Pines High School from Durango High School as a result of a family move. In his sophomore year with the Durango Trailblazers who went 5-6 (4-2 Southwest League), he caught 29 passes for 430 yards and seven touchdowns. His 29 receptions led the team. His 430 yards and seven receiving touchdowns ranked second on the team last season. Check out his sophomore highlights.

“As a junior at Desert Pines, I want to be recognized as one of the best in the nation and the best in the state. I also want to be a highly recruited receiver and just prove myself and allow people to see my game and what I can really bring to the table,” he said.

Desert Pines Jaguars Running Backs Coach David Hill said that Jackson III looked good at a young age. Hill describes him as a grinder and a blue-collar kid who works hard and someone that has a ton of potential. To Hill, Jackson III is a deep threat with great hands and will make it hard for anyone to double team him on the field offensively.

His love for football began at the age of six and the love for it grew as he got older. He’s always been better at football than the other sports he has played.

His older brother Chris had the biggest impact on him because he grew up watching him play football and navigate life. That has taught Michael Jackson III a lot.

“I feel like the toughest thing to overcome was myself. When you’re trying to put in all the time and effort to get somewhere in life, most of the toughest battles, I feel are against yourself,” Jackson III said. “To make it in football you have to be willing to take the physical and emotional pain and I feel like the only thing that can stop me from getting where I’m trying to go is me.”

The six-foot, 190 pound, Las Vegas native has a 3.75 GPA as of now and wants to go into the engineering field as a career path outside of football.

What Jackson III wants to bring to Desert Pines is a complete wide receiver. He feels that his game would fit well in their program and could bring it all together. He plans to go to war with his new teammates.

“My expectations for my junior season is that I reach the peak of my game and the offers start to roll in a little more. I have been told many times that the new NCAA rule does not allow college coaches to communicate with sophomores such as myself, but I plan to use my junior season as confirmation to coaches as a top recruit,” Jackson III said about his recruiting process.

For recruits like Jackson III, all forms of private communication between college coaches and high school juniors can occur beginning September 1. Coaches are allowed to have one phone call with a recruit entering his junior year between April 15 and May 31 this year according to the NCAA Division I football recruiting guide which became effective August 1, 2018.

“The schools I have interest in right now or schools like Oregon, Cal-Berkeley, USC and UNLV. Those schools have my interest because they’re close to home. I always keep in mind that I need to go to school. If football doesn’t work out, I can have a good education to fall back on especially one that focuses on my major so I can still succeed in life.”

When Michael Jackson III takes his visits, he wants to know the complete picture of a school. Not just the football aspect. He also wants to pay attention to who came before him that graduated and went on to be successful in football and life.

Looking at Michael Jackson III on film, he is a good route runner and it allows him to get a good amount of separation from his defender even if it’s just a step. He wants to get better at understanding coverage fully, become a better vertical leaper and perfect the things he does well. He feels like his feet and vision are the best parts of his game because he doesn’t look predictable when route running.

“I try to model my game after receivers like DeAndre Hopkins, Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., Julian Edelman, and Jarvis Landry. Guys like that, I like to get their technique down and see which of them I can learn the most from and incorporate [their skills] into my game,” he said.

Will Michael Jackson III be the difference maker in the Desert Pines Jaguars winning their third state title in four years? The journey begins Friday, August 30 when the Jaguars start the season against the Alta Hawks of Sandy, Utah.