Recruiting feature on OL Gabriel Jackson

We had a chance to get up with Amite County's head coach to get an in-depth look at his star offensive lineman's (Gabriel Jackson) recruitment.

Give us some background information on yourself.

"I have been a coach on and off for the last 30 years. I was the (head) coach until '98, and then I laid off until three years ago, and now I am going on my 4th year as the head coach," added Charles Jackson.

What is it like to be the head coach while also coaching your son, OL/DL Gabriel Jackson?

"It puts me in a good position. That is why I went back into coaching so I could coach him in high school. I came back his 7th grade year and it has been a blessing to coach Gabriel. I saw the great potential he had back in 7th grade, and I wanted to give him the best coaching he could get so I decided to get back into coaching."

What makes Garbiel so special?

"Well, first of all, there are not many 6' 4", 295 pound kids who can run a 5.1 forty and be that aggressive on the field. He got his talent from me. I was not a bad one either (laughing). But really, he has more talent in his little pinkie than I had in my whole body. Gabriel is just physically blessed, and he can play anywhere on the field. Offense/defense, he can play anywhere. He is just a good strong aggressive athlete."

We saw on tape where your son played some linebacker for you last year?

"He did. Gabriel is just so quick. He can go sideline to sideline. He just has that speed. We had him timed in some drills and he was quicker than some of my defensive backs. He does not have that real low 40 time, but he can change directions like a DB. Gabriel is not but 16 years old but he can already bench 360 pounds. Just wait until he fully develops. The kid is going to be special."

How long has your son been starting for Amite County?

"He has started every game since his 9th grade season, both ways (OL/DL), every play. He has never come off the field since we got him up to varsity ball. He came in at 6' 2", 230 as a 9th grader, but he was pancaking seniors nd he was only benching 185 pounds. LSU saw him his 10th grade year and offered him a full scholarship on the spot."

Have anymore schools offered Gabriel?

"Yes, Ole Miss offered him last year when Coach Orgeron was there. Mississippi State and Auburn (have offered). LSU and Ole Miss want him to come up there this summer. MSU does too. Several colleges are enthused about him. USM offered him too, but he is not going there."

Gabriel was playing next to another all-state lineman last year in James Brown. What ever happened to James?

"James is going to S' West CC. And I can tell you this, where ever Gabriel goes, that is where James is going. Those two are inseparable. James is like a second son to me. I thought they were the best one two punch in Mississippi last year."

What does Gabriel's Spring visit list look like?

"Well, I am also a pastor, so we are pretty limited on where we can go because I have to be back for Church on Sunday's. But I plan on taking him to Ole Miss' Jr Day next weekend, and I plan on taking him to a practice of MSU's, Alabama's, and Auburn's. We have already been to LSU so I am going to let him look at those four schools and see where he wants to go."

What are some of the positives with Ole Miss?

"Well, Ole Miss does not really interest me too well, but I give my ball players the choice to make their own decision. If the kid is not happy with his choice, he will not be productive, so I let him make his own decision."

And MSU?

"I am not really that attracted with MSU or Ole Miss. I feel strong towards LSU and Auburn, but I am not pushing him to either one. If he wants to go to Ole Miss, MSU, or Alabama, that will be his choice, but I like LSU and Auburn. But again, that is his own choice."

What stands out about LSU?

"I guess I have been a fan of the SEC all of my life. Even when LSU was not winning all that well, I was pulling for LSU. Jerry Baldwin coached there 8 or 10 years ago. We are real tight so he got me to liking LSU. There is nothing that really stands out about LSU. It is just my relationship I have with Coach Baldwin."

Why is Coach Jackson so high on the Auburn Tigers?

"I like LSU a lot more than Auburn but I like Auburn's style of ball. I also like their coaches and environment they have for their kids. Coach Nall has done a good job in building a relationship with me and Gabriel. I like how much effort they have put into his recruitment."

Where does Gabriel stand, academically?

"He has a 2.8 core GPA and he takes the ACT for the first time on April 12th.

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