HawgBeat - Mississippi 4-star DUAL QB KJ Jefferson Signs Arkansas NLI
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Mississippi 4-star DUAL QB KJ Jefferson Signs Arkansas NLI

Name: KJ Jefferson

Position: Dual-threat quarterback

School: Sardis (Miss.) North Panola

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 205

Committed: May 18, 2018

Rivals: 5.8 four-star, No. 248 overall, No. 7 DUAL

Other offers: Baylor, Georgia, Indiana, Memphis, Mississippi State, Missouri, North Carolina State, Ole Miss, South Alabama, Tulane, UTSA, Vanderbilt

Recruiting Battle: Mississippi native KJ Jefferson kicked off his recruitment by camping at Ole Miss the summer before his junior season but the Hogs were the first SEC team to offer the dual-threat QB. He visited in March, also taking visits to Mississippi State, Indiana, Auburn and Ole Miss (again). His only official visit other than Arkansas was to Memphis but he committed to Joe Craddock and the Hogs just a month later. The staff never quit working hard, building their relationships with the highly-sought after quarterback and they staved off pushes from Ole Miss and A&M. The possibility of very early playing time on the Hill won him over.

2018 stats: 166 of 275 passing (60.4 percent), 3,180 yards, 37 TD, 8 INT; 115 carries, 916 yards, 7 TD

Notable: Led his team to back-to-back appearances in the Mississippi Class 3A semifinals … Broke school records with 9,654 career passing yards and 119 career touchdowns, marks that are also top-five in Mississippi history … Voted Mississippi Mr. Football for Class 3A by high school coaches and media in the state … Played in 2018 Mississippi/Alabama All-Star Game

Quotable: “I just feel comfortable with Arkansas. I feel it is the right fit for me. … Since Coach Morris got the job, they have made me feel important. The coaching staff started following me on Twitter right away, so the love really came as soon as they got to Arkansas. The coaches are cool and they have definitely recruited me hard.” - KJ Jefferson

Coach Speak: “They’re getting a kid I want my kids to grow up and be like, in terms of just the character and the person he is. He’s going to be a leader. He’s going to be somebody Arkansas can rally behind and he’s going to do things the right way.” - North Panola head coach Carl Diffee

Scouting Report: “Even from his junior year tape, you watch it and realize just how high the ceiling is for this kid. He has a rocket arm and is able to stretch the field if safeties choose to have their eyes in the backfield instead of on their assignment. However, you can’t blame safeties for acknowledging the run because he is also explosive in that phase of the game. His vision is already elite, with being able to utilize blockers and running lanes to make defenders look foolish. Linebackers get sucked into the line of scrimmage every single play because all it takes is a play action for them to commit to the run due to the fact that he is nearly unstoppable in the open field.

What’s amazing is that he isn’t necessarily a run-first quarterback. There were a lot of designed run plays, but he doesn’t do a lot of improvising. He is hitting receivers in stride, throwing the deep ball with touch and accuracy, and providing a huge threat in the run game. Not to mention, he is a large quarterback. Too early to compare him to a guy like Cam Newton, but that is the ceiling for him at this point. He is shorter than Cam, but faster, and the arm is there for him to be one of the best dual-threats of his class.” - HawgBeat contributor Jacob Carmichael


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