From Curtis Grant to Derrick Green and Brian Brown, to recent athletes such as Jordan Hall and Woody Winborn, Hermitage’s program is no stranger to success — or producing college level athletes.
It appears that coach Patrick Kane has another emerging prospect- one that’s picked up three offers recently. That prospect is 6-2, 220-pound linebacker Mateo Jackson, a junior.
This week, Jackson picked up an offer from the University of Richmond. This offer came on the heels of both Army and the Naval Academy extending invitations.
“He’s an excellent student and leader,” said Kane. “He has all the intangibles. He’s a very physical player with great instincts and good hands.”
In addition to intangibles, he’s shown that he’s got the work ethic needed to succeed. Along with working with Hermitage strength coach Kevin Hunter three times a week, Jackson has also sought out the help of personal trainer Roger Riggle at Defy Genetics in Colonial Heights. Collectively, this work has propelled Jackson’s recruiting in the right direction.
“He has excellent hips,” Kane said. “That enables him to change direction quickly.”
Jackson was an important player on the Hermitage defense as a junior. Behind a stout defensive line, he helped clean up anything that came through along with fellow linebacker Khalil Finger. He’s hungry for more success.
“We have our team workouts three days a week and whenever I’m off, I’ve been working with my trainer to try and elevate myself,” Jackson said.
While football practice is months away, Kane told RVA Game Break that he sees Jackson playing on both sides of the ball next year. Jackson will see some time at halfback in 2017.
“I’m actually pretty excited about be able to show my versatility,” said Jackson. “It’s definitely work. Our playbook has a lot of different schemes and signals and that’s what I’m focusing on currently.”
It appears that Jackson will be a quick study with the playbook, but it’s important to point out that he doesn’t sleep on his studies in the classroom — he sports a 3.5 grade point average.
While Jackson hasn’t reached the recruiting levels of Green (who played at Michigan before transferring to TCU) or Grant (who played at Ohio State and is currently signed with the New York Giants), it’s an exciting time for Panthers fans. If Jackson can remind the Hermitage faithful of both of these talented players, it’s going to be an exciting year in the West End.
“It feels great to be able to play after those guys who were standouts,” said Jackson. “My goal is bring a championship home to Hermitage.”