The 6-2, 260-pounder got a phone call from new Auburn defensive line coach Tracy Rocker on Tuesday telling Jackson the Tigers had a spot for him to sign the next morning if he wanted to do that.
"It was definitely one of those situations where I had to make a decision and do it real quickly when Auburn offered me a scholarship the night before signing day," Jackson tells Inside the Auburn Tigers. Jackson says he ended up with 14 scholarship offers after the Tigers made a late offer. "Auburn had not been recruiting me very long," he points out. "Coach Rocker had spoken with me a little bit after he had gotten to Auburn, but he hadn't expressed as much interest as he did when he was at Ole Miss."
"I was surprised, but not totally surprised because my coach had mentioned it to me that it was a possibility that Auburn would offer," says Jackson, who earned Class AAA All-State honors as a senior after making 99 tackles with 16 quarterback sacks.
"When I got the call, I was really excited," Jackson notes. "I originally committed to UMass just a couple of days before that so it was crazy. I talked to my parents about it and we decided Auburn was the best place for me to go to college."
Jackson says Auburn's reputation both academically and athletically made his choice a lot easier even though he has never set foot on the AU campus. "I think I will be down for a visit pretty soon," says Jackson, who notes that he wants to major in business management in college.
Recruited by colleges as both a defensive end and a defensive tackle, he says that he is concentrating on gaining weight and says he expects to line up inside at tackle in college.
"I was wrestling but had to give it up because I was losing too much weight," says Jackson, who had posted a 24-1 record as a senior. "I am working on getting my weight up now. I eat a lot and I run a lot to make sure I develop the right muscles when I add more weight."