Donte Jackson is fast. That much is undeniable.
But there’s more to being a successful cornerback than only being fast — at least Ed Orgeron hopes so.
Orgeron said he sees Jackson as a potential No. 1 overall draft choice in the future, but to get there, Jackson will need to refine the parts of his game that aren’t simply running faster than everybody else.
If he can do that, there’s no telling how good he could be.
“He’s one of the fastest for sure, but he needs to get better on his day in and day out technique,” the LSU coach said. “He’s doing that with (DBs coach) Corey (Raymond). He knows he has some things to get better at. He’s not perfect yet. He has a chance, in our opinion, to be a future No. 1 overall draft pick, a high draft pick, have a great year. But he knows there’s some things he needs to work on.”
Clocking a personal best time of 10.22 seconds in the 100-meter dash, Jackson is one of the fastest men in college football. Only one FBS football player ran a faster time in an NCAA track meet last year.
But that doesn’t mean Jackson doesn’t understand where his coach is coming from.
He knows full well there’s certain aspects of his technique that need to get better if he wants to be one of the best all-around defensive backs in the game instead of a one-trick gimmick with his speed.
“I like to use my athleticism a lot going back to my Riverdale (High) days and make plays every chance I get,” Jackson said. “But just working on my technique and going against guys like (wide receiver DJ) Chark every day, it’ll help you get your technique. That’s really my biggest thing, to get my technique to the Tre’Davious White level to where I don’t have to use my athleticism.”
But the LSU receivers definitely see more than Jackson’s speed as a threat.
Wide receiver Drake Davis credited Jackson as one of the smartest defenders on the team.
Davis said opponents may beat Jackson once, but he’ll make sure it doesn’t happen ever again.
“Every time you go up against Donte, you have to bring something new,” Davis said. “You can’t do the same thing. He’s so intelligent, if you beat him on one play, he’ll go that next day and study it all night. You have to do the same route, but a different way in order to beat him.”
Jackson finished last season with four pass break ups and 39 tackles, but no interceptions as a sophomore.