In Madison (Ala.) Academy's season-ending loss to Hamilton (Ala.), Jackson partially tore the MCL and ACL in his knee.
"Physically, I think it's really close to 100-percent [healed]," Jackson said. "It's just the fact that it's getting back to the routine [and] getting the muscle memory on the field."
Jackson, who hasn't visited UNC since his January official trip, had planned to visit the campus to have the Tar Heels' medical staff look at his knee. That visit, though, never came to fruition because of his parents' work schedules.
Jackson has been finished with rehab sessions since late January. However, every four to six weeks, he meets with his doctor to "check out" his knee.
"I've taken two isokinetic tests that determine your knee strength," Jackson said. "Hopefully, I can get another one in the end of May – at least my trainer wants me to."
Jackson actually works out with two separate trainers five days a week.
"I do a two-a-day workout," Jackson said. "My first trainer, it's mainly weight based. My second trainer is a total body workout."
Jackson, who played his senior football season at 177 pounds, is up to 190 pounds on his 6-foot frame.
"I think part of the reason for my weight gain is I haven't been able to really run like I used to back during the season," Jackson said. "I just started, actually, getting back running, so I don't know if I'll lose [any weight]. But with my weight gain, my [lifting] maxes have gone up – at least in the upper body. I've been jogging for a while, but I started sprint work a week and a half ago."
Unlike most of UNC's signees, Jackson has a good-sized gap between his graduation date (May 22) and when he reports to UNC (June 16). But don't expect to see him on the beach during that time.
"I'm just going to be continuing to work out as much as I can," Jackson said.
Upon his arrival on campus, Jackson will be eased into football workouts.
"I know that when I get up there, I'm going to be working out with their trainers – at least that's what the coaches told me," Jackson said.
Despite the injury, Jackson says it's not a foregone conclusion that he will red-shirt this coming season.
"I've heard that I've been rehabbing quicker than they thought," Jackson said. "But when I get up there, I'm still going to get some work in with the trainers up there."
Jackson's enrollment will be somewhat of a homecoming for the Wilmington (N.C.) native.
"I think it's going to be an ‘I'm back' kind of feeling," Jackson said. "I've been gone for a while, but I'm back."
Jackson is looking to major in something in the sports medicine field at UNC.
"I want to continue to be around sports after my football career ends," Jackson said.
Since signing with UNC in February, Jackson speaks to Everett Withers, UNC's defensive coordinator, a couple of times a month.
"He just asks me how's the family doing, how's the knee coming along, how's working out, how's school, and says how he can't wait until I get up there," Jackson said.
Jackson and Withers haven't discussed jersey numbers or who will be his roommates.