Combines help NHS’s Jackson

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 31, 2011

Natchez High School cornerback Lee Jackson is looking to step up as a leader for the Bulldogs in the fall. (Eric Shelton \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — After a series of combines this year, Natchez High School defensive back Lee Jackson said he’s ready to take over a leadership role for the Bulldogs.

Between January and July, Jackson participated in three combines hosted by, the most recent of which took place July 24 at Oklahoma University.

“It’s one of those things where, if you compete well (at the combines), you move up to the next one,” Jackson said.

Email newsletter signup

“When I went to the first combine early in the year, they said I had good hustle, that I paid attention and showed good leadership, and that I was a good athlete.”

And when Jackson said he got the invitation to compete in the NUC Ultimate 100 Top Prospect Elite Camp at Oklahoma, he said he jumped at the opportunity.

“I was like, ‘I’m in there, I’m going,’” Jackson said.

Jackson also plays wide receiver, but he said the instructors at the combines had him pegged as a defensive back.

“They said I look more like a cornerback,” Jackson said. “They said I have the body and the speed for it, and I’m supposed to be starting at defensive back for Natchez High this year.”

Even though he got good instruction in the earlier two camps, Jackson said the Ultimate 100 camp was more competition-based than anything else.

“The higher you go, the less instruction,” Jackson said. “It’s more straight up competition.

“After competing, I know there’s a lot of very good athletes out there. I’ll have to work much harder to get to the Division I level.”

And Jackson said he’s identified several things to try and improve in his game.

“At the first combine, they told me to work on my hands,” Jackson said. “I also have to get my (40-yard dash) time down, because speed will get you to where you want to be. I also have to be more aggressive.”

Jackson is entering his sophomore season for the Bulldogs, and although it’s expected to be a rebuilding year, Jackson said the team is expecting good things this season.

“I think we’ll be alright,” Jackson said. “We’re rebuilding, but we’re looking good right now. We have great talent, we just have to put in the extra work to go far.”

Jackson said he’s also looking to step up as a team leader, although he recognizes the difficulty in doing that when he’s just a sophomore.

“It’s hard, because you have to stay focused and do the right things so I can be a great example for my teammates,” Jackson said.

“It’s more about what I do (than what I say). If I practice well, my teammates will look to practice well, too, instead of just playing around and being out there.”

When he’s on the field, Jackson said he’s looking forward to playing cornerback.

“You just come up and hit,” Jackson said. “I like hitting, that’s my thing. I can play man coverage well, too. That’s another thing the scouts at the combine said I did well at my position.”

Jackson also plays the outfield for the NHS baseball team. He is the son of Dorothy and Lee Jackson.