Tennessee is set to welcome their newest quarterback into the fold this spring, one that Josh Heupel hopes will turn into his future starter. Tayven Jackson, a four-star passer out of Indiana, was one of Heupel’s first commitments at Tennessee.
Before officially joining the team, Jackson is taking part in the Polynesian Bowl in Hawaii. Recruiting analysts have had the opportunity to take in practices throughout the week, and Jackson has impressed.
Tayven Jackson has a nice all around game and is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the ’22 class. He has impressed us both days with his arm strength, quick release and ability to tuck and run when there’s nothing open down the field. We wouldn’t call him a dual-threat quarterback but more a pro-style guy who can move and he’s very comfortable throwing in or out of the pocket and from different arm angles. He has a frame that will easily pack on good weight when he gets to college and his upside is very high. He signed in December with Tennessee and will enroll later this month. (Via 247Sports)
Jackson is a bit of a wildcard in this cycle. He doesn’t have the passing attempts that most top prospects have, which limited his high school production. As a senior, Jackson completed 124-187 passes, throwing for 1,842 yards and 21 touchdowns. He threw just three interceptions.
He’s regarded as a bit of a raw quarterback prospect, but the tools are all there. Arriving this season at Tennessee, Jackson will get a chance to sit and learn behind returning starter Hendon Hooker, who exploded for a monster season under Heupel. Jackson will be looking to follow that exact path, perhaps pushing to be next in line for 2023.
“Just learn under him,” Jackson said of Hooker this week. “Learn and take away what he has to say and just be a sponge around him. He’s a lot older and he’s a role model, so I can’t wait to meet him, see what he can do and what he can teach me.”
Jackson also plays basketball, which illustrates some of the athleticism he’ll be bringing to the position. His 6-5, 195 pound frame will likely begin filling out upon arrival in Knoxville, as the strength staff begins preparing him for 2023 and beyond.
Jackson was the 208th ranked player in the 2022 cycle, per 247Sports. He was the 6th ranked player in the state of Indiana, checking in as the 13th ranked quarterback in the cycle.