The Yellow Jacket class of 2007 has been one of the best classes in Tech history. They are currently rated a top 5 class by Scout.com analyst Scott Kennedy. But Tech is only able to sign around 18 players to this current class due to probation. Because those numbers will be able to go back up next year and with the momentum and enthusiasm begun by this class, many analyst believe the 2008 could even top what the Jackets have done this year. Landing Chris Jackson this early is certainly a good sign that those predictions could be well founded.
Jackson is excited about being the first member of the class and looks forward to doing his part in helping to build up that class and future classes in hopes of building a championship program. Chris is a polite and modest guy, which can be hard to find sometimes with a person of his athletic abilities. Those qualities along with his excitement over his decision is apparent in this interview he did with me to announce his college choice.
What is the first thing you'd like to say to Georgia Tech staff and fans?
You've been great to me so far in my recruiting process, supporting me at my visits to campus. I appreciate your enthusiasm. It's always a great atmosphere at Tech. I hope to make you proud of me as a Yellow Jacket.
I understand you've been a Yellow Jacket fan for a while. How many times have you been to Georgia Tech (for games or other reasons)?
Several times, practices, games, camps. I am looking forward to my visit Friday to watch the basketball game versus Georgia. I plan to continue to be active on campus on events to come.
What current Tech players and/or recruits do you feel like you've grown closest to in the past year?
I have grown close to many players and recruits. Everyone I have met has been great. Tashard Choice, Gary Guyton, and Jamal Lewis talked to our team this past summer. I really appreciated that. 2007 recruits Kyle Jackson, Steven Threet, Roddy Jones, and Jonathan Dwyer are all great guys and 2008 recruit Steven Sylvester is a good buddy of mine. I have met many other recruits as well and they are all impressive players and people.
What coaches have recruited you?
Pretty much the whole staff. I spent some time with Coach Gailey this summer. That was awesome. Coach (Giff) Smith and (Buddy) Geis have communicated with me on a regular basis, and prior to this year Coach (Patrick) Nix always acknowledged (high school teammate) Drew (Little) and I at our visits to campus. They have made us feel welcome from day one.
Do you play any other sports in high school besides football?
Yes, I play basketball in the winter. I have played baseball in the past. I am going to concentrate on my strength and speed training this spring and summer.
How does it feel to be the first commit for the GT class of 2008? Was it important for you to be the first to pledge your commitment for the Jackets in this class?
It feels great and yes it was very important for me to be the first to commit. I want to show my support for the team early on and show everyone my commitment to the '08 class. I hope by doing this I may influence others to do the same. Tech offered me first. That meant a lot to me. I want to be the first to commit to show my appreciation.
Do you feel like any responsibilities go along with being the first commit in terms of trying to help recruit other players you meet/know to join you in building a great class?
Definitely, I hope to play a major role in the recruiting class of '08 as well as future classes. I understand that to be a part of a championship program you must do more than perform on the field and in the classroom. You have to promote the University every day by carrying yourself in a certain manner and being polite to recruits and fans. I accept the responsibility.
What other players in your class have you already met who are guys you're going to help work on to join you at Tech?
I really hope Steven Sylvester will join me, and everyone knows I hope my best friend (sophomore) QB Drew Little will be a Yellow Jacket one day. As for other 08's, I look forward to meeting them in the near future.
What other schools had offered you in addition to GT?
I have had many offers and have met some great people from other universities, but even though a few of these schools did a wonderful job of recruiting me, they could not measure up to the extra mile the Tech staff has gone for me.
What was it about GT that made you choose the Yellow Jackets over the others who wanted to bring you in?
The relationships that have been established. Coaches, fans, friends, the academic opportunities to achieve a degree from GT. The opportunity to compete on the field for many ACC and National Championships. Staying at home is also important so my family and friends can follow me.
What area of your game are you most happy with and what areas are you looking to improve on in 2007 (senior year)?
I am happy with my coaching staff and teammates. I think we can put up some big numbers next year. I hope to get stronger and faster. I am going to train hard through the spring and summer and hopefully it will pay off with a good senior season.
What are some of your goals for your senior season?
To win our region, make it to the dome, and win a state championship.
There is talk that you would make a great addition at either WR or DB. Do you have a strong preference for where you play in college? Do you think you could succeed on either side of the ball?
Everyone, including GT, has offered me at WR, so that is what I am preparing for. I do play both sides of the ball and will play where I am needed.
What are your physical dimensions right now and what are your weight room numbers?
BENCH - 300
SQUAT - 400
CLEAN - 280
What do you plan on studying/majoring in when you get to campus?
I am not sure, but from my research so far, business management looks like the best option for me. It looks like a versatile degree and could allow me to go into coaching.
Tell me something interesting about yourself that Tech fans who follow recruiting may not know about you.
When I was a little kid, I always dreamed of being a major league catcher. I think I will stick with football now!
Do you have any game day rituals?
I love game days and I do have a routine... Waiting until the last minute to suit up and listening to my motivational music on the i-pod are just part of the routine.
Do you have any nicknames?
I really don't have one. My coaches call me a lot of names. Hopefully I will earn me a good one at Tech!
Jackson (left) is hoping his QB and best friend Drew Little (a sophomore) will join him at Tech down the road
As for other offers, Chris didn't really want to talk about the schools he was saying no to. From speaking with a coach of his though, it was clear that the closest relationships built with Chris so far in this process were with Florida State, Tennessee, and Georgia Tech, all of which had offered. Other schools had also recently offered him including Duke, Virginia Tech, Central Florida and Eastern Carolina.
Chris finished his junior year with the following stats: 45 catches (in 9 games) for around 800 yards, 8 touchdowns. On defense he had 7 interceptions with 2 returned for touchdowns.
Chris is planning on attending summer school so that he can graduate early and enroll in January of 2008.
Chris also wanted me to note that he is very appreciative of his mother Kathy, and of his high school coaches Coach Rozier and Rex Robertson, who has coached him since he was 9 years old. Chris is looking forward to watching his future teammates play in Jacksonville in the Toyota Gator Bowl on January 1st against West Virginia.