A.J. Jackson holds double-digit offers

Arshad "A.J." Jackson was instrumental in Lovejoy High School's playoff run to the Georgia Class AAAA state championship game. The 6-foot-6, 240-pound tight end can also spread out at wide receiver. He saw his stock rise during his junior season, but he had prior offers already coming in. Nashville is on the spring travel calendar. Jackson talked with VandyMania.com about the Commodores.


"Virginia offered me the summer before my junior year," said A.J. Jackson. "They were my first offer. I'm up to 11 offers. My SEC offers are Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, and Arkansas.

"I'm going to Ole Miss for the Grove Bowl, their spring game. I'm also going to visit Vanderbilt in two or three weeks since I missed their Junior Day."

Jackson has made two spring visits to ACC schools, Georgia Tech and Clemson. Both schools have offered as has Louisville, Michigan State, Purdue, and South Florida. Next up on Jackson's travel agenda are the two SEC destinations, Oxford and Nashville.

"It was three weeks ago when Coach Spence offered me," Jackson said of his Vanderbilt offer. "He said they loved the way I played tight end and think I would fit well in their offense to make it more successful.

"I love the program, really. I think they have excellent academics, treat their players well, and have a good coaching staff."

Lovejoy High School opened in 1990. They've had players like Tashard Chioce, Mario Fannin, and Chris Scott. The 2011 team, however, was the first to reach the state finals.

"My best game in the playoffs was against Warner Robins in the semifinals," Jackson said. "I had back-to-back touchdowns in that game. It was great to go undefeated and play for a state championship. We ran the ball a lot, but I had eight touchdowns on the season.

"Next year I think we're going to pass more which hopefully will lead to more touchdowns. I'm deadly in the red zone on a corner route."

Lovejoy fell to Tucker, 22-7, in the state championship game. Lovejoy will move up to the 6A classification next year, so the road to the Georgia Dome will become even more difficult to manage. Jackson hopes to make a decision on college before beginning that undertaking.

"Hopefully I'll know by the end of summer," Jackson elucidated. "I want to go to a program that gets their tight end more involved in the game plan. I'd like to have a good connection with all of the coaches. Academics are very important consideration to me as well."

Jackson's family has a hoops background. His uncle, Dwayne Johnson, was a standout at Marquette. He has a cousin, Sean Johnson, who currently plays basketball at Duquesne.

Jackson plays basketball at Lovejoy and averaged 12 points and 10 rebound per game this season helping his team to Georgia AAAA Elite Eight.

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