Kyle Jackson: Ambassador for Tech

GT commit Kyle Jackson was a big-time pickup for the Yellow Jackets when he committed earlier this month. Since he pledged his services to Tech, a who's who of recruiting has followed and all of them are buddies with Kyle. Jackson gave GoJackets.com insight on how his name seems to always come up each time the conversation turns to other big-time Tech recruits.

Georgia Tech commit Kyle Jackson was a big-time pickup for the Yellow Jackets when he committed earlier this month. Jackson, a three-star linebacker according to Scout.com, started a domino effect for Tech's recruiting that hasn't been seen before by many fans. Since he pledged his services to Tech, a who's who of recruiting has followed and all of them are buddies with Kyle. Jackson gave GoJackets.com some insight on how his recruiting played out and how his name seems to always come up each time the conversation turns to other big-time Tech recruits.

When did Georgia Tech offer you and how long did you wait after receiving the offer to commit?

Georgia Tech offered July 8th while I was on an unofficial and I committed on the spot. I had spoken with Coach [Giff] Smith, Coach [Brian] Jean-Mary, and Coach [Charles] Kelly a few days before it happened and they had all said that they felt the offer was coming that weekend... I talked over with my parents that Wednesday and Thursday evening and we all decided that Tech was the place for me. I actually told Coach Jean-Mary I was going to commit that Friday night... then I told [Coach Chan] Gailey Saturday at lunch.

Were there any other teams you seriously considering during recruiting?

Mississippi State made a HUGE push in the beginning. I loved everything about that program and the fact that they were on their way to success in the SEC. It was hard to say no to Coach [Sylvester] Croom because he is a great guy. Central Florida offered two days before my commitment. Also I was seriously considering Florida Gators towards the end of my process. I knew that Florida was really high on me and were planning to offer when I was supposed to come down on the 22nd. Florida is still trying to recruit me and actually asked me if they offered would I reconsider my commitment, but I declined. In the end I wanted to be in Atlanta and at Tech.

How did you feel when the GT offer finally came? The one you had been waiting for.

It felt great. Since the Elite Junior Day in February, Tech had been on my mind and after the hard work I put in at camp, my training had paid off. I literally put up some of my best numbers all year at the camp and to hear how impressed they were as I left the Tech locker rooms that day felt great. But hearing Coach Gailey ask me to join the Yellow Jacket Family was incredible.

Fans really appreciate players who are as passionate about their team as they are. Are you aware that many Tech fans consider you one of the most important recruits in this class, in part, because of your willingness and ability to persuade other recruits to follow your lead and come to Tech, in addition to your on-the-field ability?

My parents tell me all the time how the fans see me as "valuable" and I appreciate that, but at the same time I'm trying to help build a TEAM that is going to make Tech look great. I don't necessarily feel aware of how important I may SEEM, I just feel like it's my job to try and surround myself with some of the best talent so that as a TEAM we can be the best.

What has led to you wanting to take on such an active role in building up Tech's recruiting class?

I want to win. Nobody plays football to lose. To be the best, you have to have the best and we're heading in that direction right now. I've got a lot of friends that I've met throughout recruiting process that have serious interest in Tech and I'm hoping to bring them in with me.

Since you committed in the first week of July, you have been followed by an avalanche of other Tech commits [Willie White, Roddy Jones, Logan Walls, Jacoby Monroe, D.J. Donley]. Do you think you had a role in getting them to join you at Tech or at least affected the timing of their decision?

I had been friends with Logan and Roddy before they committed. The actual day I committed, Roddy texted me and told me congratulations and said that he wanted to come join me. So, we kept in contact throughout his late Clemson excursions and he ended up at tech. I actually told Logan the night before that I was going to commit to Tech and I just spoke with him all day while he was camping on the 8th and that night he told me he was sure he wanted to be at tech. Following my commitment I got Willie and D.J.'s number from Coach Smith and contacted them. They both seemed happy to talk and within a week both had committed to Tech but waited to announce for their various reasons. With Jacoby I had spoken to him the night before he committed and all he told me is that he really liked tech. I told him that we're building a defense that will dominate the ACC and I would love to have him apart of it. Next thing I know he committed. Not so sure what I said is what made him commit, but I was shocked because I knew he was a Tech lean, but not the next-day-commit-Tech lean. Now I'm actually really good with Willie. Me and him are becoming family; on top of me Logan and Roddy already being that close and D.J. is becoming apart of the close knit family we are building as well. As far as Jacoby I can only get a hold of him on myspace every so often, but he seems excited about Tech.

Obviously you read a recent newspaper article that had a quote from Nick Claytor saying, "I had to block his number," in reference to how often he'd hear from you. Would you like to comment on that?

Nick and I can talk often, but rarely do I call. Normally Nick calls or we meet up on myspace or instant messenger. However, Nick does not have my number blocked. We actually talked on the phone the night before the article came out, and the morning that the article came out. It's funny because Nick is a humorous type of guy and when he got a hold of me this morning I said "Nick, I haven't been bothering you have I," and he didn't even know the quote was in the AJC and he started laughing and said, "Oh my God, I was just playing with that reporter, I didn't even say it seriously." Anyway, he told me not to get emotional on him because I know he would never speak that way because we're boys, but actually sent me a text message this afternoon apologizing as he said he wasn't serious with that reporter and the reporter had no business putting that quote all over Atlanta, but I was fine regardless. Me and Nick are close and I knew upfront that it was nothing.

Who are your top 3 recruiting targets who are currently uncommitted?

Right now I'm going after Claytor, [Jonathan] Dwyer and [Josh] Nesbitt because they're all buddies of mine and we talk regularly. A lot of times we don't even talk football but conversations just ends that way since it encompasses our lives. I'm also talking to Cedric Everson. We need him to complete our defense and Casey Matthews. Me and him actually met in Tennessee back in January for a recruiting visit at UT then again at Notre Dame for a spring game. So, hopefully we'll meet again at GT.

Who would you say you speak to the most of all of the other players you know from recruiting circles?

That's a tough one. Recently it's been Willie White. Willie is a cool kid. He plays in the Dome the day of the ND game. I'm going to try and take MARTA from campus with some of the other commits and go watch some of his game before we start our recruiting stuff that day. But like I said... I talk to Roddy, Nick, Dwyer, and Logan a whole lot too. We all just stay in touch.

Tell me what Tech fans can expect to see from Kyle Jackson on the field.

I'm not big on expectations; other than 100% every play for 4 quarters. I consider myself a leader both vocally and physically, and my goal is to be a captain for Tech sometime throughout my tenure as a Yellow Jacket. The main thing Tech fans can expect is a hard working athlete who will want nothing but success for four years. I think we're building a GREAT class and we will work great together to contend for some ACC and National Championships.


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