Some of Mississippi's best and brightest football players will take the field this weekend to battle their counterparts from the state of Alabama in the annual battle for state supremacy. James Jackson is happy to be a part of the Magnolia State effort.
"It's been great being able to hang out with a couple of the best football players in the state of Mississippi," Jackson said. "It's been an awesome experience so far."
Jackson has lined up across from Gautier's Paul Gainer most of his football career. Now on the same sideline for the first time, the pair of Jackson county rivals have the chance to represent their home state in the classic All-Star match-up.
"It's been good hanging out, because we're both from the coast," Jackson said. "We have always played against one another since elementary school. It's good to be able to bond together over this. It's not weird at all, because we're great friends. It's good to be able to work together."
Last weekend, Jackson took his official visit to Mississippi State. The trip to meet with State players and coaches is the only official visit the Pascagoula High star has taken. While Bulldog fans hoped that the two days in Starkville would remove all doubt for Jackson, the three star defensive tackle reports that he is still considering his options.
"I am pretty solid with State," Jackson explained. "I am still looking at some other things though. I am going to sign on Wednesday and they're going to do something at the school."
Before Jackson puts pen to signing day paper, he is working hard to ensure that All-Star week has a successful ending. While it has been enjoyable to spend time with his fellow All-Star teammates, Jackson reports that the game matters most of all.
"We need to win the game," Jackson said. "That's pretty much what we have to do. We have to go win for Mississippi. It would be great for us as seniors to get a win. This would be a part of our legacy as a class."
Jackson played his high school career at Pascagoula High School for Coach Lewis Sims. Some college recruiters have projected the talented Jackson as an offensive guard on the next level, while others like him as a defensive tackle. Jackson reports that he is willing to play either spot depending on team need. Should Jackson follow through with his commitment to Mississippi State, a spot in the middle of the Bulldogs' 3-4 alignment at nose guard is the expectation.