In the 2017 recruiting cycle, Michigan State took one specialist in walk-on Jack McKenna, who focuses on kick-offs. There is no need for a specialist in the class of 2018 yet, but it appears there will be a need for either a place kicker or punter in the class of 2019. In-state do-it-all specialist Jackson Griskie has his eyes on potentially filling the need. Spartan Nation caught up with him to discuss his interest in Michigan State.
Jackson visited Michigan State on February 11th.
“So far I’m hearing from Michigan State, University of Michigan, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, and Indiana,” Jackson commented on the attention he has been receiving early on. The first team All-Macomb County selection is a versatile kicker and punter that will become one of the most sought after at his position in the class of 2019.
“I’m not your average specialist,” Jackson said. In fact, just looking at Jackson would not leave you with the assumption that he is a kicker or punter at all. He measures in at 6’2” and 195 pounds.“When I’m in the weight room, I work with the lineman. I’m one of the most fit kickers or punters you will see.” Jackson does not take his position with ease, rather he works to become the best he can each and every day and he has already seen results of his hard work. “I’m also one of the more consistent specialists out there. I rarely ever have a practice where I can’t make a 45 yard kick or won’t have a 38 yard punt average. I can also perform all 3 jobs at a high level, so if there is ever an injury to one of the other specialists, i can take care of the job just fine.”
Jackson’s sophomore season was one to remember as he asserted his consistency in many areas of special teams. “It went well, as far as punts went my coach wanted me to have none returned, and we kept that to only one returned all year which was a huge accomplishment for me and my team.I would like to bring my average up to 40 with our new coach. For field goals I went 5 of 7 with some deep 30 yard kicks. Next year I hope to hit some around 50 yard, as that is what I’m hitting in practice now. For kickoffs, I went 7 of 9 touchbacks and would like to aim for 85% touchbacks. I was also 25/25 on extra points and will like to stay perfect for next year.” Jackson is ready to build upon his successful sophomore season, he said, “This next year I am just focusing on football, so I will be a lot more focused and I hope to deliver some longer, clutch field goals and provide great field position for my team,” he explained.
As I highlighted earlier, Jackson is hearing from many top schools in the midwest. However, one team is standing out above all early on. “Michigan State has shown most interest, and Coach Salem and I are currently talking once every week or two. I should be visiting the 25th or 26th and then shortly after for the spring game. If I had to say right now, Michigan State is the favorite.”
As one of Jackson’s goals will remain earning a position to kick or punt for the Spartans, he can already envision what an offer would mean. “I would just see all the hours of hard work that I put in to flash before me. Most importantly I would think of the people who believed in me this whole time including my parents, coaches, and friends and all their encouragement when no else thought I could do it. It would mean the world to pay back those people,” said Jackson.
Scout does not rate Jackson Griskie yet, but he figures to be one of the most highly sought after at his position in the class of 2019. Spartan Nation will stay in touch with Jackson as he works toward an offer from the Spartans and processes his skill set.