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Tori Jackson’s favorite sport is basketball, but he has a feeling his future may be in football.
The Columbus North senior-to-be has been receiving interest from colleges in both sports. But he’s getting more attention on the gridiron.
“It’s looking like I’ll probably be playing football in college,” Jackson said. “I’m better in basketball, but football is probably going to be my sport.”
The 6-foot-7, 205-pound wide receiver/post player has heard from Purdue and Michigan State for football and Miami (Ohio) for basketball. Franklin College also has shown interest for football, and the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati has talked to him about playing both sports.
“I think without a doubt, he’s an intriguing prospect,” North football coach Tim Bless said. “With that combination of size, and he does run pretty well and he does catch the ball well … without ever having seen him in a varsity game, that’s a little bit speculative at this point. But as far as the physical components, yes (he is a prospect).”
Jackson moved to Columbus from Batesville in January and made an impact on the Bull Dogs’ basketball team. He helped North go 9-1 during its final 10 games, falling only at Bloomington South in the sectional title game.
“It was great,” Jackson said. “I get along with the team real well. We’re making progress. We should be fine this year.”
“His motor is really good,” North basketball coach Jason Speer added. “He’s really physically strong around the basket, and when he does finish and finish up tall, he’s very, very hard to block. Once he learns to play as big as he is and becomes a force around the basket on offense and defense, the sky’s the limit.”
Since the end of basketball season, Jackson has added about 10 pounds. That extra weight figures to come in handy on the football field.
“One thing that we’ve been very impressed with is his blocking ability in the perimeter,” Bless said. “That’s kind of the question of the two different worlds in basketball versus football — ‘How’s he going to hold up to the physicality of football?’ — and thus far, it’s been very encouraging.”
Bless said Jackson has run the 40-yard-dash in the high 4.7s and consistently has been 4.8. He played tight end at Batesville but is moving to wide receiver.
“We want to accentuate his frame in green grass and try get some matchups against smaller defensive backs,” Bless said. “I think the obvious is, he becomes a huge threat in the red zone where most defenses get into man-to-man. But we’re hoping to make him an every-down, whole-field type of kid.”
Jackson has one goal for the Bull Dogs this fall.
“Get us to (the) state (championship),” he said.
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