2005 Signee, Jackson Nears Eligibility

Wildcat fans were extremely excited about the surprise addition of Crisp Co. (Ga.)'s Jamaal Jackson on signing day 2005. After failing to receive credit on prep courses he enrolled in at Crisp County as a senior, Jackson is close to making the grade and heading to Lexington. Get the latest on Jackson's enrollment in this breaking news story.

"I understand that Jamaal is currently taking two correspondence classes," Georgia Football News and local newspaper correspondant, Harvey Simpson said. "Once he completes and passes them with a mandatory B-average or better sometime in March or April, he is supposed to enroll at Kentucky and go on scholarship in June."

According to Simpson through a Crisp County assistant coach, University of Kentucky linebackers coach Chuck Smith, recently headed to Cordele (Ga.) to sure-up Jackson's commitment.

"The Wildcats' linebacker coach (Chuck) Smith was in town recently," Simpson said. "He met and talked to him and was impressed by him,"

Jackson signed with Kentucky after a senior season that saw him be named the Satilla Area Defensive Player of the Year (South Georgia area). A two-year starter at Crisp County HS in Cordele, Ga., playing defensive end, linebacker, and safety during his career, Jackson began his high-school career as a basketball player, then added football his junior year

He was first-team All-Southwest Georgia as a senior when he notched 84 tackles, including 20 tackles for loss and 14 quarterback sacks. He was also first-team all-area and all-region and was honorable-mention all-state.

Months after signing with Kentucky in early June, KSR reported their was some initial problems with trying to convince the NCAA clearhouse to let him enroll at UK in the fall of 2005.

"(Crisp Co. HS head coach) Clay Hill confirmed there was some initial problems with the clearing house's acceptance of college prep courses in which Jamaal had been enrolled," Simpson said in an email to Scout.com. "They won't accept any classes that have "vocational" attached to it even though there are courses that both college prep and vocational students take that are credited to whichever path of education they're pursuing."

"Apparently, Jamaal had some classes that fell into that category," Simpson confirmed.

The 6-foot-4, 235 pound athlete, was selected for the Georgia North-South All-Star game and played for the winning South team.

Then Crisp Co. head coach, Clay Hill had this to say about the UK signee: "Jamaal is one of the best athletes I've ever coached," Hill said. "He's a great athlete who runs in the 4.5 range consistently. In pass coverage, we matched him up on wide receivers and he ran with them. He's pretty special, and he had to play catch-up since he didn't begin football until his junior season, so I think his best football is ahead of him."

Jackson was a noteworthy performer on the basketball court, where he was a four-year letterman, and a second-team all-region pick as a sophomore and junior. He helped lead team to the state tournament his junior year

Ultimately, Jackson signed with Kentucky over Clemson and Troy.

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