In recruiting, and in life in general, building relationships is the name of the game.
Especially for a school like SMU, in rebuilding mode and coming off of a 2-10 season, it’s vital that coaches develop connections early on with high school athletes to get their foot in the door.
Not only has that strategy done wonders for the Mustangs’ staff thus far with their two classes they have landed, it has also put them in good positions for several sought-after 2017 kids.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound defensive back has been speaking with the SMU staff for over a year now, and has formed close bonds with coach Justin Stepp and coach Jess Loepp.
“He’s a good all-around coach. Me and him have always had a good relationship based on visits and campus,” Jackson said of Stepp. “(coach Loepp) and I are building a relationship right now as we speak, and we’ve been talking about how I would function on the SMU defense. He said I’m big, mobile, and can stop the run.”
Jackson is also close with a number of recent SMU signees, who have him thinking there won’t be any 2-10 season for the Mustangs anytime soon.
“A lot of my friends from the 2016 class, guys like Eric (Sutton), Michael (Clark), and Demerick (Gary), are going to turn that into something special,” Jackson said.
Besides the people around the program, the hard-hitting safety also knows he would be getting the whole package if he committed to SMU.
“In my opinion, SMU is one of the best academic schools around the country, so you can’t beat that,” Jackson explained. “I’m keeping my options open, but I would most likely want to stay close to home also, and the schools right there.”
But with nearly nine months to go until signing day, and more than a dozen schools interested in the athlete, Jackson’s recruitment is far from being over.
With offers from SMU, UNT, New Mexico State, Tulsa, Air Force and Army among others, Jackson is also hearing from Baylor a fair amount.
Now set to play both ways as a senior, and with summer just around the corner, Jackson hopes trips to camps and college campuses will continue to help make him a household name for coaches.
“I still feel like a lot of people are still asleep on me,” Jackson said. “They want to watch my film and then watch me to make sure I can move a little bit. That’s why I’m going to keep it open for a little bit.”
With that in mind, the downhill safety and running back says he hopes to commit to a school around the middle of his final high school season.