Marshall and Jones – it sounds like an old TV Western.
But Jackie Marshall and Saivion Jones are not trying to hunt down desperadoes. Instead, they are trying to stop opposing quarterbacks, running backs or any other offensive skilled position players that might wander into their path.
Marshall and Jones are two players from the River Parishes named candidates to the Sports Illustrated High School All-American Team.
“It’s kind of big,” St. James coach Robert Valdez said of the honor for the Wildcat defender. “That’s special. That’s a big-time honor and recognition for the young man.
The national publication selected a total of 1,000 players from around the country. The River Parish duo were among 25 named from the state of Louisiana for 2020.
The recognition has been part of the skyrocketing status Marshall.
“I tell Jackie all the time that he has to realize he is blessed,” East St. John coach Brandon Brown. “The Lord has blessed him with a lot of intangibles.
“Early-on, he had some hurdles he had to climb with athletic eligibility my first year at East St. John and he was just so committed to the process. He made a commitment that he not only wanted to be one of the better guys in our area, but across the country.”
Here is an evaluation of the duo by Sports Illustrated:
Prospect: Saivion Jones
Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-5, 240 pounds
Position: Defensive End
School: St. James (La.)
Committed to: LSU
Projected Position: Defensive End
Frame: Tall frame with solid definition and length in arms. Flat torso with fair thickness in thighs and athletic calves. Has room to add mass.
Athleticism: Basketball background. Competes in track and field as a high-jumper, and throws the discus and shot put. Average snap quickness versus run and pass is made up by fantastic motor. Excellent effort and hustle. Has strength to stack, set edge and maintain control at the point versus TE’s attempting to reach him. Capable of anchoring versus base blocks by OT’s. Solid to surf laterally to squeeze to ball versus run, though range is better in long pursuit situations. Decent hips to clear and corner when pass-rushing.
Instincts: See-ball/get-ball type. Good eyes at the point to locate ball. Flashes decent gap penetration and ability to skinny through doubles. Can take advantage of soft shoulders during rush reps. Attempts to sink pad level at entry points by dipping inside shoulder when rushing off edge.
Polish: Usually lines up to the field as 4i and 5-technique in 3-man and 4-man fronts. Limited pass-rush toolbox only currently consists of a rip and speed-to-power. Attempts to counter late in rush with a chop. Inconsistent quick-shed ability versus run. Needs to add to hand-usage package and develop a pass-rush plan.
Bottom Line: With his promising frame and hot motor, Jones has some promise to be developed into a productive player along the defensive front. He needs to diversify his pass-rush toolbox, though he plays with high effort and intensity. Jones projects well as a LDE in in a traditional 4-man front, yet could grow into a 5-technique DE in a 3-man front with 2-gap principles.
Prospect: LB Jackie Marshall
Status: SI All-American Candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-1.5, 230 pounds
School: Reserve (La.) East St. John
Schools of Interest: Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech, Louisiana Tech and Houston
Projected Position: Outside Linebacker
Frame: Impressive physique. Broad shoulders, wide chest and taut midsection. Long, chiseled arms. Thick, tightly wound lower half. Room for additional mass; playing weight depends on position, role.
Athleticism: Good burst. Average speed; clocked 4.81 40-yard dash in 2019. Light feet, especially in short areas. Fluid and flexible; rarely off balance. Adequate play strength. Solid overall coordination but lacks quick-twitch explosiveness.
Instincts: Natural wiggle as pass-rusher. Loves stutter steps, shoulder fakes to get tackles off balance and bend to quarterback. Not especially physical. Shows patience when necessary, including as flat defender if initial rush stymied.
Polish: Sturdy legs and trunk provide him a consistent base. Must add to pass-rush toolbox. Possesses size and strength to set edge and anchor in run game but prefers to shed. Little experience dropping into coverage.
Bottom Line: Marshall’s imposing frame and innate wiggle make him a natural pass-rusher. Best suited as outside linebacker at the next level to maximize time playing in space. Surefire contributor for Power-5 program, with starter upside.
Note: Marshall committed to Baylor a few weeks ago. Additionally, Ahmonte Watkins also is on the list at the position of athlete. The former Riverside Academy player has transferred to a school in Texas.