From Southern California, Centennial High School (Corona, CA) prospect Drake Jackson is already on the BYU Cougars' radar. The two-way prospect played on the freshman squad in 2015 until he was called up to play on the varsity team.
“I play tight end, D-end, and outside linebacker,” Jackson said. “I’m 6-2, 220-pounds and I’m only a freshman right now. I play at Centennial High School.
Last Friday, Jackson traveled to BYU for an unofficial visit. He toured the campus and saw the makeup of a big time football program.
“It was amazing how we just went in there and went to the film room where the players could watch film,” said Jackson. “We went to where the coaches offices are and met the coaches. They brought us food, and it was good food. We saw the indoor practice facilities and it was huge! We saw the weight room. I loved the weight room but they were in the process of making it bigger. We saw some players in there and the players were big.”
At some point during his visit Jackson was called in to meet with BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. There he was asked a few questions and informed about the standards by which every member of the BYU student body is asked to live by.
“I went into Coach Sitake’s office and he asked me, ‘How are you doing in school?’” Jackson said. “I told him, ‘I’m doing pretty good.’ He then asked me, ‘How are you doing in school overall? Do you like everybody?’ I told him that I did. Then he said, ‘Here at BYU you have to do right because this is a Mormon school. That means no premarital sex, no drinking, no drugs, and things like that.’ I don’t do that kind of stuff so it’s alright, and I’ve got good grades.”
Then something incredible happened. Coach Sitake extended a scholarship offer to Drake Jackson marking that day in his young life as one of the greatest moments of his young life.
“Well, it’s been kind of crazy! I’m not going to lie to you,” said an excited Jackson. “I got an offer from BYU! He was like, ‘So, we’re going to give you a full ride scholarship. When he said that, I was going crazy inside. I was going crazy. I let it out! I was like, ‘Thanks coach! I appreciate it!’ but I was going crazy inside.
“It was one of the best experiences in my life! I love football and I can’t stop playing football and I can’t stop watching it. This is just another opportunity for me to keep playing and go to the next level. Then from there it’s a chance for me to go to the NFL.”
When asked what he liked about his BYU experience Jackson talked about how, “It’s a family thing there at BYU” said “They believe in families and doing the right thing.” On top of that he expressed how much he liked the fact that BYU takes care of their players upon graduation.
“I like what BYU does and how they take care of their players,” said Jackson. “They really care for their players and not only try and help them succeed on the field, but if you don’t go into the NFL they try and set you up for success afterwards. They bring people up to help you so if you don’t make it to the NFL they set you up with a good job. I like that.”
However, the best moment of his unofficial visit to BYU was the meeting with BYU’s head coach, Kalani Sitake.
“It had to be that,” Jackson said. “It was the best! I was filled with joy! I was filled with joy from that experience. Like I said it was the best experience I’ve ever had. This was the happiest day of my life.”
Jackson followed his offer from BYU up by receiving an offer from the Utah Utes on Saturday after an unofficial visit in Salt Lake City. Total Blue Sports will continue to keep you updated on Jackson throughout his prep career.