Jaylon Jackson spoke with BuffStampede.com last Wednesday evening, hours before he departed for Boulder. At the request of his high school coach and the Buffs' staff, Jackson graduated from Cedar Hill early. He signed his scholarship paperwork over the weekend and is now set to begin classes at CU on Tuesday.
“I am anxious. I am ready to start working out with the team and getting to know all the coaches and players even better than I was able to [during the recruiting process],” said the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Jackson, who is now rooming with Isaiah Lewis, another early enrollee.
Jackson suffered a torn ACL in his right knee for the second time in 16 months last summer, after putting up some blazing times in the 100-meter dash during track season.
“The second time I had surgery they took my patella out of my left knee and put it in my right knee and they did like an incision on the side to make my right knee tighter,” he explained.
Jackson believes he could have been cleared to play football again in November, late during his senior season. But he opted to wait and have Colorado's medical staff give his knee a thorough examination before putting a helmet and pads back on. He has been doing “more and more running” and has been building back strength in his quad and hamstring.
“The field work part of it is the last stage, but I'll see what they both (Colorado's trainers and doctors) say and what their plan is for me going forward,” Jackson said.
During his conversations with Buffs co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini, Jackson has been led to believe he will factor in as a slot receiver, at least early on during his college career.
“I know I can help them playing as an inside receiver and hopefully I can prove to play outside receiver, as well,” said Jackson, who prides himself on his route running and, of course, his speed.
Jackson's elite speed helped him earn a four-star rating by Scout and other sites. His rating dropped after two seasons on the sidelines, but Jackson is still ranked as the No. 16 receiver in the Lone Star State from the Class of 2017.
In Jackson's absence, Cedar Hill won 11 games in 2016 and reached the 6A D2 state championship game where the Longhorns fell to DeSoto by six points. Cedar Hill finished ranked fifth in the state by MaxPreps.
“It was very hard not be able to play but you get an opportunity to look at the game from a different perspective and you know that if you stay patient, your time will come,” said Jackson. “And it helped being able to encourage my teammates. I had a lot of fun going to the games and being with them.”
Below are clips of Jackson from the playoffs during his sophomore season in 2014:
Below are clips of Jackson from last year, after his first ACL injury: