The Montgomery (Ala.) Jefferson Davis defensive lineman got his chance when he traveled out for the Rising Stars Camp in Los Angeles. His initial observation?
“It’s so beautiful out here. It’s better than I dreamed it would be,” Jackson said. “I can see myself playing and progressing here.”
Jackson probably had the USC coaching staff thinking the same thing about him as he was a dominant performer in the early morning session on Wednesday, showing his quickness and athleticism despite a 6-foot-5, 270-pound frame.
The three-star earned our figurative gold star as the top performer from the session despite competing with and against several other players currently rated higher.
“I like how I did,” Jackson humbly said. “I think I did great in all the drills we did at the camp.”
Jackson was more excited about the trip to USC than his performance.
“It was more than what I expected it to be! I knew it was going to be nice, but everything was beautiful out here.”
And he seemed to connect well with the Trojans’ coaching staff, particularly defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze.
“They are very welcoming and friendly. Like Coach KU, he’s always joking. They also will coach their hearts out for you.
“KU spoke to us before lunch about how anything is possible like when he said he was 370+ pounds and lost about 100 before he got drafted. That’s dedication and determination right there. [That tells me] I can do whatever I want to accomplish if I just put my mind and heart into it.”