DALLAS -- University of Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat is hoping for big things in this year’s NFL draft. Scouts say he'll be a mid-round pick and is being targeted for two different positions.
“Some teams have told me defensive end, others have told me outside linebacker because they've seen me drop before,” Jackson Jeffcoat says. “I don't mind playing either. I just want to play.”
Jackson is a product of Plano West High School where he became one of the top recruits in the country.
“It's big time. To be the number two recruit in the country is big,” Jackson said on signing day.
Jackson also played basketball in high school but never got a chance to show his game in college.
He's hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps; Jim Jeffcoat won two Super Bowl rings with the Cowboys and finished his career with 102 sacks. His father didn't want his son playing football until high school, but Jackson was able to change his mind.
"I started playing in sixth grade," Jackson said. "The sixth grade was my first year. I had to beg him to let me play. He wasn't going to let me play until high school."
"He's an excellent kid," Jim says. "I mean he graduated in three years. He's done right things. He really does a lot of things in the community. I'm really proud of him."
"I had to come to him and ask him about stuff, like 'hey will you teach me this?'" Jackson said. "'I'm having trouble with this guy doing this to me, will you teach me that?' That's when my dad was really involved when I would come and ask him questions."
Jackson's senior year was his best year in college, leading the team with 86 tackles, including 13 sacks. He ran a 4.6340 at the NFL combine. He’s hoping his college production will speak for itself.
"I have numbers out there but my goal is to make it into the NFL and do the same thing in the NFL," Jackson says.
Scouts say he's football smart, has solid instincts and they really like the fact that his father is a retired pro. In 2012, Jackson played in the first six games before suffering a season-ending injury.
"I know how hard he's worked and the things he had to go through," Jim said. "I didn't have those types of injuries. It’s even more rewarding to see him have success."