GO TO ANY NFL PREGAME EVENT and you can see one of the league’s most well-known characters, the robot Cleatus of FOX Sports broadcasts. Or you can watch Malik Jefferson sprint
down the track competing in the long jump.
The 6-4, 220-pound Jefferson is athletic and
fluid. He has the explosion to be a long jumper
and looks as if he’s the work of an animator
rather than a third-year starter on the Mesquite
Poteet football team. Jefferson was a sophomore starter for Poteet, but it was during the
spring of 2012 when he starred among much
older players at a Nike Camp in DeSoto when
Jefferson appeared on recruiting radars.
Now, Jefferson is ranked as Rivals.com’s No. 19
player in the country and the top player from Texas.
“He has it all from the athleticism to the
measurables, and is equally impressive closing
moving forward or dropping in coverage,” Rivals
recruiting analyst Jason Howell said.
An outgoing personality, Jefferson and his parents soon found out that even when he made a
last-minute stop at the Baylor campus on his way
to a camp at Texas, it became breaking Twitter
news. His Twitter account, @official_malikJ, has
nearly 3,000 followers and his first account was
popular enough to be hacked.
His strengths lie in his ability to continue to
make big-plays on special teams or in third-down
situations even when it’s clear the offense is
keeping an eye on No. 46. He’s has intangibles
which make him a team leader as well. Jefferson’s outgoing personality allows him to handle
the extra attention. Despite towering over many
classmates in size and, as one of the nation’s top
recruits, it’s not uncommon to see Jefferson on
the front row of a Poteet soccer game leading
the cheering section.
Jefferson’s measurable are all but impeccable. At national and regional prospect camps,
he regularly bests high-profile running backs
and receivers with a better SPARQ rating for his
quickness, speed, agility and explosiveness. He
started his first game as a freshman for then
Poteet defensive coordinator Kody Groves,
who’s about to start his second year as Poteet
“He’s got the size of a defensive lineman and
the speed of a defensive back,” Groves said.
“The first thing you notice is he’s a big kid, but
he’s lightning fast.”
– David McNabb