CLAYTON, N.C. --- North Carolina is one of the seven schools to offer Savion Jackson, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound defensive end from Clayton High.
"He's kind of a throwback type defensive player, because he does everything you ask and he works hard," Clayton head coach Hunter Jenks said. "He has really good change-of-direction and length. I think one of the things that help him stand out on film is how he can use his hands and play with leverage at such a young age."
As a freshman, Jackson was promoted to varsity for Clayton's 2015 season finale. Not only has he remained at that level, he became a starter the following offseason.
Although he's listed as a defensive end on its roster, Clayton's staff purposely circulates Jackson throughout its D-line.
"It's one of those things where we don't want to leave him at one spot on the line so that teams can dictate their blocking scheme and run away from him," Jenks said. "So, we'll play him on inside, we'll play him on outside -- we just try to keep teams guessing to where he's at."
Jackson ended his sophomore season with 51 tackles, including 19.5 for a loss and seven sacks. He also forced a fumble and was credited with a safety.
While attending North Carolina's junior day on March 25, Jackson received a UNC scholarship offer.
"It was just a regular junior day and I got pulled to the side," Jackson said. "And then they invited me to Mr. [Larry] Fedora's office. He talked about how he watched my film, saw my grades, and he said he thought I was a great player. He said I have good potential; since I'm so young, I can get better and play at that level. So, he offered me.
"[The offer] means a lot, actually. Me being so young it just proves that he believes in me that I'm going to be good enough to play at that level."
UNC wasn't the first school to pull the trigger on Jackson and it wasn't even the most recent. An offer from Wake Forest was extended a few days following UNC's junior day. Before UNC and WFU, he received tenders from Duke, NC State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
With the exception of Pittsburgh, Jackson has visited each of his scholarship offering schools.
"I actually liked all of them, to be honest," Jackson said. "Just them giving me an offer as a sophomore, it's just special.
"I'm completely wide open."
Jackson plans to name a list of favorites following his junior season.
"I'll look at the rosters and stuff like that," Jackson said. "Distance varies -- I do want to stay closer, but if somewhere offers me and its a great fit and I like it, then I've got to make that decision. But, I was looking more closer to home, more on the east coast."
Offer aside, UNC made a strong first impression on Jackson with its aforementioned junior day.
"It was actually nice," Jackson said. "The coaches were nice from Mr. Fedora all the way down. He's a cool dude [and] a family dude."
Jackson didn't grow up rooting for a particular team. He says he was the type of college football fan who puts on the best game on his TV starting at noon and continues watching games until bedtime... Jackson is considering majoring in sports medicine.