Texas football lands standout 4-Star EDGE Lance Jackson

Pete Kwiatkowski and Texas football landed one of their highest-rated commitments in the 2025 recruiting class this weekend in the uber-athletic four-star Pleasant Grove (TX) edge rusher/tight end Lance Jackson.
Pete Kwiatkowski, Texas football
Pete Kwiatkowski, Texas football / Tim Warner/GettyImages

The commitments keep coming for Texas football on the recruiting trail following the conclusion of the first big Junior Day of the 2024 offseason. After Texas landed its first commitment in the 2026 class on Jan. 20, Aledo (TX) running back Raycine Guillory Jr., head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff added another key piece for 2025 late this weekend.

The Longhorns landed a commitment on Jan. 21 from the highly touted four-star Texarkana (TX) Pleasant Grove edge rusher Lance Jackson. Jackson announced his commitment to Texas via a post on his Twitter/X account on Jan. 21.

Texas football lands a next-level athlete in 4-Star 2025 EDGE/ATH Lance Jackson

This commitment from Jackson comes he visited Texas for Junior Day on Jan. 20.

He committed to Texas over offers from the Tennessee Volunteers, Texas A&M Aggies, Arkansas Razorbacks, Alabama Crimson Tide, Oregon Ducks, and Oklahoma Sooners, among many other schools.

Jackson is the fifth recruit to commit to the Longhorns in the 2025 class. Texas also has commitments from four-star Saraland (AL) quarterback KJ Lacey, four-star Melbourne (FL) Eau Gallie defensive lineman Brandon Brown, three-star Pearland (TX) Shadow Creek outside linebacker Anthony Williams, and four-star Calhoun (GA) tight end Emaree Winston in the 2025 class.

This is a big get for co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Pete Kwiatkowski and the Longhorns in the 2025 class. The 6-foot-5 and 245-pound edge rusher was among the top in-state edge rusher priorities for PK and the Longhorns in the 2025 class.

"I think Pete Kwiatkowski is a really smart coach and he knows what he’s doing. I think Steve Sarkisian is building Texas to be a dynasty and just love what he’s doing."

PK and staff did a great job of selling Jackson on the future direction of this program entering the SEC this year (per On3/Inside Texas). Kwiatkowski reportedly has a relationship with Jackson that dates all the way back to his time on staff as the co-defensive coordinator with the Washington Huskies.

PK recruited his older brother, defensive end Landon Jackson, when he was a highly-sought after blue-chip prospect in the 2021 class. Landon now plays defensive line at Arkansas.

Jackson felt it was the right time for him to commit to Texas and shut things down in his recruitment after the Junior Day visit on Jan. 20.

Texas getting a hulk of an athlete in Jackson

From a physical perspective, Jackson checks all the boxes you want from an SEC-caliber edge rusher. He's got the lengthy wingspan, height, weight, and quickness off the edge required to succeed in the competitive trenches in the SEC week in and week out.

Jackson's athleticism gets put on full display as he plays multiple sports at Pleasant Grove High School. He's also a dominant pitching prospect in high school.

For Pleasant Grove's football program, Jackson plays defensive end and tight end. He's got the speed, strength, and versatility to play either position at the collegiate level for Texas.

At the EDGE position, Jackson is developing a good array of pass rush moves and has the ability to set the edge effectively in run defense. His length and quickness off the line of scrimmage allows him to find the ball carrier or the quarterback and he has the closing speed to get them to the ground to finish the play.

In run defense, Jackson's length is what really separates him as a force off the edge. He plays with good pad level, allowing him to move past most run blockers. And once he wins those matchups against the run blocker, Jackson's quickness, length, and speed in change of direction means the ball carrier rarely evades him.

As a pass rusher, Jackson has the lightning-quick first step, natural bend and flexibility to become one of the leading sack-getters in the SEC in the future.

From an instinctual perspective, Jackson shows the football IQ and the nose for the ball-carrier required to succeed in all phases of defense (or offense if he plays at tight end at the next level).

Texas really is getting the total package from an SEC-caliber edge rusher if Jackson keeps developing at the rate he has in the last few years in high school.

Areas of improvement

While the potential is through the roof with Jackson's ability, whether he plays offense or defense at Texas, he's still got some areas of his game he needs to develop. First, Jackson must continue to develop his hand placement.

If he can learn to extend his arms and continue to work on his hand usage, he'll become an even more dangerous pass rusher and run stopper due to his impressive length and wingspan.

Secondly, Jackson must get stronger before he's ready to take on some of the bigger blockers and double-teams in the Power Five at the collegiate level. Jackson can get overwhelmed at times on film when he takes on double teams or some of the bigger interior offensive linemen he faces in east Texas high school football.

Fit at Texas

The most natural fit it appears right now for Jackson at Texas would be at the EDGE position. PK was his primary recruiter for a reason, as Jackson has all the physical tools required to be one of the top players at the position in the SEC for multiple years in the future.

But as Jackson's game and body develops, his positional fit could also change. Tight end is still a possibility for him at the next level since he's got the size, quickness, and hands to succeed as a pass-catcher and a blocker on offense as well.

If Jackson continues on his current development arc, the jack position would make the most sense for him in PK's defense. He's got the requisite height and length to be a force in the pass rush and run defense at the jack position.

Jackson has the makings of a talented early-impact player at Texas if he continues to develop quickly over the next 15 or 18 months.

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