- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 31, 2010

HOUSTON (AP) - Spring Westfield coach Corby Meekins marvels on how far Desmond Jackson has come since his freshman year.

The defensive tackle has improved not just on the football field but in the classroom.

“From where he was when he came in as a freshman to where he is now is night and day,” Meekins said. “He’s a great student and just done a great job in the classroom. His strength levels have just jumped exponentially from year to year. He’s done a great job in the weight room. His technique on the football field is really good. He’s worked really hard to develop to where he is now.”

Meekins said the 6-foot-1, 278-pound Jackson has always had a “great motor” and that his one speed is high. Now that he’s combined strength with that attribute, he’s become even more difficult to stop.

“When he came in he had some natural strength, but that doesn’t get you anywhere,” Meekins said. “It’s what you do after that. He benches 400 pounds, squats 555 pounds, power cleans 330 pounds. So, yeah from where he was as a freshman that’s just blown up. The game is won in the trenches, so you better be able to move some people and stop some people down there and he does.”

Jackson, who’s planning to play for Texas, uses different tactics to encourage his teammates. Sometimes he’ll sit back and think before giving another player advice or weighing in on a situation. Other times he’ll get loud.

“He’s got a great personality,” Meekins said. “He does a little bit of everything.”

Meekins hasn’t asked Jackson to improve in any one area, instead he asks him to do what he expects from each member of his team.

“We’ve got one goal and that’s to be better tomorrow than we were today,” Meekins said. “He wants to be better each week as we go through the season.”