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Recruiting Reset: Missouri lands another former blue chip recruit for its wide receiver room

How will former Ole Miss wide receiver Dannis Jackson fit into the Tigers’ offense?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Liberty at Ole Miss Photo by Chris McDill/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hiring a wide receivers coach with lots of connections can have its perks. One of those perks is landing former blue chip recruits through he transfer portal!

If you missed it, Missouri landed a commitment from former Under Armour All-American and Ole Miss wide Dannis Jackson. Mizzou’s current coach Jacob Peeler was the Ole Miss wide receivers coach and Jackson’s lead recruiter back in 2019. Jackson chose Peeler and the Rebels over offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Oregon, Tennessee, and Texas among others.

Jackson’s collegiate career has not gone as expected. He got on the field immediately, but sparingly. He finished his firs two seasons with a total of 10 offensive touches. Jackson finally broke through with 250 snaps and 22 targets as a junior, but Lane Kiffin recruited over him through the portal and Jackson officially entered the transfer portal himself in September.

Relationships matter, and Jackson will be reunited with his former wide receivers coach, Peeler, in Columbia.

The Tigers had a need for one more playmaker on the outside. What does Jackson bring to the offense? And where does he fit into the depth chart? Let’s take a look.

Where he’ll play: Don’t let his size deceive you, Jackson has spent the vast majority of his snaps lined up at outside wide receiver. That came as a bit of a surprise to me, because Jackson is listed at 5-foo-11 and 165 pounds. Regardless, his ability to win outside from the outside is a skill the Tigers severely lacked coming into the offseason. The vast majority of Missouri’s receivers on the roster at the end of the season were best suited to play out of the slot.

The Tigers’ options on the outside now include Oklahoma transfer Theo Wease, Chance Luper, Mekhi Miller, freshman Joshua Manning, Luther Burden (more on him in a momen) and Jackson. My guess is the Tigers open the season with Wease and Jackson lined up outside with Burden starting out in the slot. That could change over time, but that would be my way-too-early projection.

When he’ll play: Best I can tell, this is Jackson’s final season of eligibility. He was a member of the 2019 recruiting class, played each of the next three seasons and used this past season as a “redshirt” year after transferring from Ole Miss. Maybe he will be granted another year - you can never be too confident on eligibility in the COVID era - but it seems like he’s exhausting his eligibility in 2023.

I say all of that to say this: Jackson is going to play immediately. A former blue chip recruit doesn’t transfer to play for his former position coach at Missouri if he doesn’t expect to play. Heck, his former position coach probably doesn’t take him a Missouri if he didn’t believe he could help early and often.

What it all means: I went into the offseason believing the Tigers needed to land two instant contributors at wide receiver, and that’s what they’ve done with Wease and Jackson. More importantly, I thought the Tigers needed to find a way to find some receivers who can play on the outside so Burden can slide into the slot. I think they’ve done that with these two additions.

Burden could eventually become a player who thrives outside, but right now he’s best utilized in the slot. He’ll thrive with more space to operate. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen such a transition; Lovett spent most of his time on the outside as a freshman before transitioning into the slot as a sophomore. That seemed to work out pretty well. Here’s to hoping the same will be true for Burden.