Recruiting: Vols landed a good one in Jackson

T.J.Walls
Recruiting Correspondent

Recruiting Analysis: Martaze Jackson
The Tennessee Volunteer’s May Have Found a Diamond in the Rough

Each year during National Signing Day great players across the country are overlooked by many Division I programs. Former Pro and now high school scout, Max Emfinger calls it “Flying Under the Recruiting Radar.” Derek Dooley and Lance Thompson saw something special in one player, and he may come back to haunt opposing SEC teams.

Martaze Jackson out of (2009 Class 5 A State Champion) Demopolis High School signed with the Tennessee Volunteers on February 3rd. Other than Tennessee the only other schools to offer Jackson were: UAB, South Alabama, Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, Memphis, Louisiana Tech, and a few smaller schools. Arkansas actually jumped on the wagon and offered late in the recruiting process. Martaze Jackson received 12 offers in all.

Last February I called his coach, Tom Causey, to get a rundown of his best college prospects. Causey and I spoke a good hour about Martaze. He told me about Jackson’s top notch character, relentless work ethic, and his abilities on the football field. Everything that Causey said seemed too good to be true. I called Martaze for an interview that night and got to know him. (When I asked him what his stats were at DE, he didn’t know.) Like Causey said, Martaze was humble, down to earth, and I could tell from the first time we spoke he was a special person. Coach Causey had to pull his stats for me because Martaze didn’t keep up with his personal accomplishments.

“He’s the definition of a team player. All he cares about is winning. He gives 110% in practice, games, and every aspect of life” Coach Causey said.

A week later I drove down to Demopolis to visit Causey and to watch his workout and run the 40-yard dash. Before meeting Martaze, I was able to clock him running the 40 twice. He was fast.

At 6’2” 208 lbs., I was impressed. Why didn’t this kid have a single offer? I believe it was the fact that Martaze started out of position at DE since his sophomore season. Coach Causey said they were moving him to LB his senior season if their depth on the line allowed.

As a senior at Demopolis, Martaze helped his squad capture the 5 A state title on their way to a 12-3 record. From his DE spot he recorded 43 tackles, 28 tackles for loss, 12 sacks, 3 pass deflections, and a 12 QB hurries. Due to the lack of depth on the defensive line, Martaze played DE, where most teams ran away from his side. He was 1st team All State and was named Team Captain.

Throughout the recruiting process, Martaze remained patient through faith. He knew he had what it took to play for an SEC program.

On January 8th 2010, Jackson played in Max Emfinger’s All-American Classic in Austin, TX. He started at outside linebacker for the East squad, where he was able to showcase his recent size increase, speed, and agility. He was awarded the Defensive MVP after recording 12 tackles, 4 sacks, and an interception.

After receiving footage of Jackson’s performance at outside linebacker, Lance Thompson and Derek Dooley offered Jackson during his official visit to Knoxville on January 23rd.

Tennessee is not only getting a great football player, but a high character person that the Volunteer program could use.

He will have a shot to start at OLB as a true freshman for the Vols.

*Note- Martaze chose Tennessee because of their Engineering program.

*College Goals: To get to work hard in the weight room and would like to run faster when he arrives in Knoxville this summer. His goals also include to start as a freshman and to prove Alabama and Auburn wrong for not recruiting him. Alabama said he was too small and Auburn offered him and pulled the offer and gave the spot to another player. He also wants to eventually play in the N.F.L. but will earn his electrical engineering degree while at Tennessee.

*He holds a 2.9 G.P.A. with a 19 on his ACT which he is retaking Feb.6th

*Martaze Jackson grew up an Alabama fan.

*Last year when asking coach Causey how he ranked with all the players he’s coached, he said that Martaze is as good if not better than former player and current Alabama L.B. Nico Johnson of Andalusia.

*Coach Tom Causey is the older brother of former Alabama (All-SEC) center John Causey.