"They know how to make their players feel welcome," Jackson said of Tennessee. "They showed me the most interest even through the bad times and the hard times."
A wave of positive emotion ran through the coaching staff after the Inglewood, Calif., native passed along the news that he plans to sign with the Volunteers.
"They told me that they were fired up, they couldn't wait and they want to get me up there as soon as possible," he told InsideTennessee.
He makes the 19th commitment and is the first verbal since Jalen Reeves-Maybin of Northeast (Tenn.) High School on Aug. 10. FOX Sports NEXT rates him as a three-star prospect.
Tennessee tight ends coach Charlie Coiner made the trip out to the Golden State during the bye week to see Jackson compete. Obviously, the first-year aide liked what he saw. Coiner is the lead recruiter on Jackson.
|Tight ends coach Charlier Coiner (pictured) flew to California during Tennessee's bye week to leave an impression on Jackson. It worked.|
Coincidentally, the current starting tight end, Mychal Rivera, is also from California. The fifth-year senior was on the John Mackey Award Preseason watch list and enters the Mississippi State game with 14 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns.
Jackson said he'd be tuned in tonight to see Rivera and the Vols try to take down No. 19 Mississippi State in Starkville.
The 6-foot-4, 235-pounder plays end on both sides of the ball for Inglewood, which is 5-2 past their season's midway point. He entered the season as the fifth-ranked defensive end in the West.
"Jackson may be the most physically impressive defensive end in the West, and while he's still pretty raw, his upside is off the charts," FOX Sports NEXT said. "Like other players at this position, Jackson can play a number of spots, including outside linebacker and he'll even play some tight end this year, where Tennessee likes him. His best football is still ahead of him."
The future Vol is planning to trip to Knoxville in late November, likely to see the Big Orange take on either Troy, Missouri or Kentucky. He is not a mid-term enrollee and said his grade point average is "good." The plan is to take the SAT soon before being able to hit the road.
Have a look at what Jackson brings to the table in this senior highlights: