Jackson Likes the Aggies

For a few years Texas A&M had all but ignored our border state and the hotbed of recruits underneath it, but this is beginning to change with yet another Lousiana recruit favoring the Aggies. Websider's David Sandhop visits with the prospect about his recruitment.

In the 1990's under R.C. Slocum, Texas A&M football routinely crossed the border into Louisiana and signed several bayou state prospects. That practice virtually stopped under Dennis Franchione during his five year tenure in College Station. However, former Slocum assistant coach now head coach Mike Sherman is going in to recruit Louisiana once again. Last February, he signed three Louisianans including Jonathan Stewart from Shreveport. For the Class of 2010, he's trying to nab another highly-regarded prospect from the Shreveport area, defensive lineman Brandon Jackson of Evangel High School who attended last weekend's junior day and spring practice.

"I actually grew up following Texas A&M," Jackson said. "Their uniforms were very similar to my team's uniforms so I started watching them on TV. I watched an A&M-Texas game and I saw how the fans were crazy and called themselves the 12th Man. They are always into it and Kyle Field is a great place to play football."

The 6-foot-5, 288-pound defensive tackle registered 97 tackles, 10 sacks, and an interception. His exceptional 4.95 forty speed to go along with his size is one reason why he's received scholarship offers from Arkansas, Louisiana Tech, and Texas A&M with serious interest from Texas Tech and Mississippi State. But it was Texas A&M that took center stage this past weekend when he visited for their junior day event.

"As much as I followed A&M, I've never been there," Jackson said. "It definitely met my expectations. When we walked out onto Kyle Field for practice, I couldn't believe it. The coaches and players were great. The people are laid-back and friendly. I was comfortable there."

After practice, Jackson met with defensive line coach Buddy Wyatt and they discussed his teaching philosophy and what he's looking for in his linemen. Then, he was escorted into Coach Sherman's office for a one-on-one discussion.

"Coach Wyatt reminds me of my high school coach. He's extremely knowledgeable but he also knows how to explain it to the players so they get it," Jackson said. "Coach Sherman is very hands-on and seemed to know everything about me. I want to study music and he went out of his way to have somebody from the music department come talk to me about their program and he genuinely seemed interested in my pursuit of a music degree. Academics are important to him."

Sherman did inquire about Jackson's status in recruiting and if he was thinking about making a decision soon about where he wants to go. Specifically, he did ask where A&M stood on his list.

"I told him A&M is at the top. They already had a step up on everybody but the visit put everything in perspective for me," Jackson said. "I told him I wasn't ready to commit. I need to spend more time in the community and get a better feel for the town and the surrounding area. I also may want to see a few other places just to make sure since this is a big decision."

To date, Jackson indicated that he does not have visits scheduled but he's considering another trip to Arkansas and possibly visits out to Texas Tech and Mississippi State. His decision should come well before his senior season, and his primary factors in choosing school include comfort with the surrounding town, academic fit with his interest in music, and the coaches' relationships and interaction with the players.

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