"I was walking in the mall before Christmas with my stepfather and my brother when my mom called and said Wake Forest was going to be calling me. I really didn't take her seriously. After the dead period was over Coach Jackson flew down to meet me in person. The next Friday, Coach Knorr and Coach McCartney came. Everything felt right with those guys. They're not your regular coaches. They talked to me like a father would talk to his son. I was sold on Wake Forest on meeting them, but I had to wait on the offer."
It was on Sunday when Thomas-Jackson received word he would be receiving an official offer from the Demon Deacon coaching staff.
"Coach Knorr told me when Coach Jackson saw my tape he told him 'get in here, you got to see this kid'," explained Thomas-Jackson. For me it was about them believing in me, knowing I could play at the next level in the ACC. They told me they liked my personality. That they thought I was a humble young man who works hard to be successful. They liked the way I carry myself and my commitment to the sport.
"As a player they like the way I run to the ball, make open field tackles, come off the edge or drop back in pass coverage, and my willingness to play special teams. They said they didn't want someone who was only a defensive player, but someone who would help the team win no matter what. They couldn't believe how underestimated I was and said, 'wow Julian, we never even knew about you.'
Thomas-Jackson started his high school career at a private school in Oxford, Miss. but moved to southeastern Alabama prior to his junior year and enrolled at Dothan High School.
"We played a 4-3 set as a junior and I was an inside linebacker," he said. "In my senior season we went to a 3-4 and I played outside linebacker. Back in Oxford I played wide receiver, but when I came here they moved me to defensive and I found out that I loved hotting people and making plays on the ball in the open field. This year I lead my area in tackles with 141. What I think is going to help me at Wake Forest is my versatility. I can play every single linebacker position."
When he gave his commitment to Coach Jackson, Thomas-Jackson said the linebackers coached smiled and gave him a big hug. He plays on taking his official visit to campus the weekend of February 1-3. At Wake Forest, Thomas-Jackson is interested in studying Health and Exercise Science.