As a sophomore last year, Jackson McChesney received his first offer from BYU. A year later, the 6-0, 175-pound athlete from Lone Peak High School has made his decision official with a commitment to BYU.
“BYU is the school that I’ve always wanted to go to really bad,” McChesney said. “BYU had offered me early but I waited and felt like I needed to go check things out at some of the other schools to make a comparison. This past summer I spent a lot of time at other schools checking things out and BYU is the school that I really wanted to go to, so I just thought I would get things over with and commit to them. I wanted to commit to them before my season starts, so I could focus on my team for this upcoming season.”
After McChesney committed to Bronco Mendenhall, he walked out of his office to the celebration and cheers of an excited BYU Cougar coaching staff.
“When I committed they were yelling and giving me high-fives and stuff like that,” McChesney said. “When I came walking out of Coach Mendenhall’s office after committing, they were all really excited and yelling. It just made the experience all that much more memorable for me.”
From Stanford to Auburn, McChesney visited many college campuses checking out programs, facilities, and potential opportunities. Despite still having two years of prep ball to play, and having blipped on the radar of colleges such as Alabama, Auburn, Notre Dame, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Utah, Utah State, and Washington, McChesney felt he had seen enough to know where he wanted to play D-1 football.
“I had been to many different colleges and just the feeling of BYU and being on campus really stood out to me,” McChesney said. “It’s just different over there than at any other school. Also, BYU’s running backs coach, Mark Atuaia, is just an awesome guy. We have a great relationship and he’s someone that I really like and recruited me well.”
BYU running backs coach Mark Atuaia was instrumental in persuading McChesney to choose BYU by helping him to understand the unique value one can get by accepting a scholarship offer there. McChesney has nothing but high praise for Coach Atuaia.
“We just have that bond together,” McChesney said. “We’re really close and he coaches in a way that I would like to be coached. He’s just a great man, and I’m excited to be coached by him.”
It is reasonable to believe that Coach Atuaia is excited about coaching his future charge in Jackson McChesney. The reason is simple. McChesney possesses blazing speed at a young age.
“My fastest laser time recording was a 4.46 in the forty,” McChesney said. “That was recorded at Clearfield at the All Poly Camp. Nike came out and was affiliated with them and that was my SPARQ time.”
At the Nike combine, McChesney recorded a 123.24 total score on his SPARQ rating, placing him among the top athletes in the 2017 class.
“When I ran my forty the first time they didn’t believe it because I ran it in like 4.52 or something like that,” he said. “Then I ran it again it was a 4.46. When I went to turn in my time the guy didn’t believe me because he has to initial it. So, I had to run it a third time and ran a 4.48. After that they were like, ‘You’re good.’ It was kind of funny.”
At BYU’s junior day McChesney ran a 4.38. However that time was hand held.
“Yeah, when I was at BYU’s junior day I ran a 4.38,” he said. “That time was a handheld time though.”
His speed makes one wonder if McChesney pulled his shirt apart would there be a big “S” for Superman on it.
“Well, I don’t know,” he said with a chuckle in his voice. “Hopefully there would be a ‘LP’ or a ‘Y’ on it.”
On the track, McChesney is also no slouch. He recorded a blazing sub 11-second time in the 100-meters this summer.
“My fasted 100-meter was a 10.95 and I didn’t run it as well as I could,” said McChesney. “I didn’t get a good start and usually that’s what I do really well, so because I didn’t have a good start I kind of fell behind.”
Just to give some comparison, as a senior in high school in 2012 BYU running back Jamaal Williams’ fastest 100-meter time was an 11.23. The 10.95 time in the 100-meter by McChesney was recorded as an underclassman. He still has his junior and senior years of high school to complete making his potential as a true speed back very exciting.
“Coach Atuaia wants me to play running back much like Jamaal Williams did before he left the program,” said McChesney. “He wants me to come in and be that speed back in the backfield.”
However, Coach Atuaia will have to wait a few years before he can get his hands on his future running back. Upon graduating, McChesney will set aside football for two years to serve an LDS mission.
“I’m going to be going on a mission straight out of high school,” McChesney said. “That’s what I plan on doing. That way I can come back and just play straight through at BYU. I’m excited to be a Cougar and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.”