2014 BYU Football Newcomers: Harvey Jackson


Aug 31, 2013; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defenders Harvey Jackson (1) and Greg McMullen (90) tackle Wyoming Cowboys running back Shaun Wick (21) in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska won 37-34. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Leading up to Fall Camp at the end of the month, here at Lawless Republic we will be giving you a daily glimpse at the signees and return missionaries that will be part of the 2014 BYU Football team.

Harvey Jackson

Fresno, Texas; University of Nebraska

6’2″ | 210 LBS

Before BYU:  A three-star recruit out of Hightower High in the state of Texas, Harvey Jackson signed with the University of Nebraska out of high school.  Jackson lettered in both football and track in high school.  Had offers from eight different power five conference schools, and 16 offers in total while starring as a prep for the Hurricanes.  Was a top 300 recruit by Scout.com.

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Signed with Nebraska as a member of the 2010 class.  Jackson played three seasons with Big Red seeing time in 34 games and starting in four.  Heading into the 2013 season, Jackson was expected to be one of the top returning members of the secondary.

Jackson recorded 33 tackles in 2013.  However, his role started to diminish in Bo Pelini’s defense and Jackson didn’t see any playing time in the final three games.  Jackson then decided to take advantage of the transfer rule allowing graduated seniors to move on and play immediately.  Now Harvey is a Cougar.

Along with BYU, Jackson had offers from Cincinnati, Western Michigan, and West Virginia to land the former Husker.

These highlights are from the 2011 Nebraska spring game where Jackson had a broken hand.  Obviously watching him on film here, the thing that stands out the most is how he closes on skill players with his speed.  He looks like a guy that will fly to the football.  Reminds me of Aaron Francisco (2001-2004) on how they finish and wrap up.

Expectations in 2014: Start at Free Safety

Heading into Camp Cougar (August 1st), BYU’s projected starters at safety are seniors Craig Bills (KAT) and Skye PoVey (free safety).  Bills is of course a no-brainer.  PoVey at free however, leaves much to be desired.  Jackson steps in and has an instant opportunity to be the starter on day one in Nick Howell’s defense.  It’ll take time to learn BYU’s defensive philosophies, but you can’t teach athleticism and speed.  Harvey Jackson has that.  Skye PoVey does not.  PoVey will compete because the guy knows Bronco & Nick Howell’s defense better than probably anyone on this year’s roster, but talent will, and should, always win out.

You don’t sign a kid from Nebraska as a fifth-year senior if you don’t feel there needed to be an upgrade within a position at your program.

Potential in BYU career: Become a trendsetter

Guys like Harvey Jackson usually don’t come to BYU out of high school.  But when a guy like Jackson sees the end of his football career in sight with limited playing time on the field, it’s time to explore other options.  BYU then becomes a very attractive option.

What I’m saying here is that guys like Jackson, Keanu Nelson, and Jordan Leslie have an opportunity to become flag-bearers for a new wave of potential BYU Football players.  If these three succeed and have a positive BYU experience, why wouldn’t a former four-star kid at a power five school currently want to explore his options and look at BYU, if things aren’t going as planned in his situation?

Jackson and Jordan Leslie have an opportunity to not only succeed at BYU, but possibly find a spot on NFL rosters in 2015.  The NFL speaks volumes to players, it could become the new recruiting trend at BYU if these two find their names in NFL camps at this time next year.