After about a week of speculation, it's official, Nebraska safety Harvey Jackson will transfer to play football for BYU. Caught in a crowded position battle at Nebraska, Jackson will transfer for his last year of NCAA eligibility to pursue a starting job at BYU. He will have immediate eligibility this season because he will graduate with a degree from Nebraska this spring.
Fired up to welcome the freak @he_number1 to the Cougars secondary!— Geoff Martzen (@geoffmartzen) April 17, 2014
Jackson made a campus visit to Provo on Tuesday and was offered a scholarship afterwards to play for the Cougars this season. Rated a 4-star recruit and the 27th rated safety out of high school in Fresno, Texas, Jackson brings size and toughness to the Cougar secondary. Listed at 6-2, 210 pounds, Jackson should be able to make an immediate contribution to the BYU defense. He also adds some much needed depth to a strong, yet inexperienced group of safeties in the BYU secondary. With Craig Bills as the only returning starter at safety from last year, Senior Rob Daniel is expected to move over from corner to safety, and sophomores Chris Badger and Kai Nacua are also expected to compete for playing time. It will be interesting to see how the inclusion of Jackson affects the position battles in the secondary, and whether Daniel ends up playing more at safety or corner this season. Regardless, Jackson's experience and reputation for being a strong tackler should help him to be a valuable addition for the Cougars. Last year at Nebraska Jackson made 33 tackles, including 20 solo stops. His presence should help to improve the Cougar pass defense which ranked 42nd in the nation last year.
Jackson joins a noteworthy list of fresh faces we will see in uniform for the Cougars this fall that have arrived via transfer, including receivers Keanu Nelson, Nick Kurtz, Jordan Leslie and Devon Blackmon. It seems BYU's staff has been aggressive about pursuing players with experience that can help the team win this year. Also, BYU's ability to schedule more high profile opponents, and its TV deal with ESPN have drawn more and more eyeballs to the program, and has surely helped to attract the attention of transferring players seeking more playing time and exposure.