TYRONE, Ga. — Sandy Creek defensive back Javon Jackson has narrowed his 15 scholarship offers down to just two schools — Duke and South Carolina.
The 6-foot-1, 190 pound hard hitter talked with thecrescentbuzz.com editor Gabriel Stovall Monday evening about his two finalists, his time at Sandy Creek and some of the most difficult players he’s had to tackle and cover in his Sandy Creek career.
STOVALL: So how many offers do you have all together, and who are some of the ones that stood out most to you?
JACKSON: “I’ve had 15 offers altogether. Of course Duke and South Carolina, but North Carolina, Louisville, Wake Forest, Kentucky, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern are some of the others that have really stood out.”
STOVALL: Your good friend and teammate Korey Banks recently committed to North Carolina. Did that put a little pressure on you to follow him to Chapel Hill?
JACKSON: “Yes sir, it did kind of make me want to consider going there. But I really love both of the schools that I’ve narrowed down to.”
STOVALL: What is it about these two schools that pique your interest?
JACKSON: “I like how the coaches at South Carolina really make me feel like I’m a priority for them. Obviously with Coach (Steve) Spurrier, they’ve had winning ways, and so I like everything about it. They’ve want me to come and play corner there. They have a position they want me to play that’s called the Spur. It’s like a nickel. And then at Duke, of course, it’s the academics. And then they’re starting to get those winning ways too from Coach Cutt (David Cuttclife). And both schools want me to come in and have an opportunity to play early, and Duke really wants me as a safety.”
STOVALL: Do you have a preference between playing corner/nickel and safety?
JACKSON: “Well, the corner, you know, I’m good enough to play man on the next level. I think it’ll be a good fit. And then at the safety spot, I think I can come down and hit people. That’s one of my good things, tackling. That’s the easy part. But I like covering too. The hardest part of tackling, you know, is like trying to get after that bowling ball guy, you know what I mean? That’s like the guy who’s 5-foot-8 and 250 pounds. But then there’s that 5-foot-6, 160 pound scat back guy who’s like a little cat. But then when you’re covering, getting after the 6-foot-5 guy who can run and use his body is hard. You gotta play mentally when you cover.”
STOVALL: You basically listed three different types of players that make defense a challenge. Who are some of the toughest guys you’ve had to try and tackle or cover in high school?
JACKSON: “I think as far as the big receiver, it’s Kyle Davis from Archer. Another good receiver that’s good but I didn’t play against him, I just practiced against him, is Demarre Kitt. He played at Sandy Creek and went to Clemson but he’s at Mississippi Gulf Coast now. As far as running backs, Elijah Holyfield at Woodward (Academy). I know Elijah because we played together since we were young. He’s not like that bowling ball, but he’s got good size and speed and also power. Also, last year Whitewater had a running back Christian Wafford. He was a hard guy to bring down. Those are some of the best I’ve played against in high school. Oh, and Dylan Singleton from Archer. He’s a good one too.”
STOVALL: How has the Sandy Creek experience helped prepare you for the next level?
JACKSON: “At Sandy Creek you have those expectations every year. It’s championship or bust. And the last few years we’ve only made it to like the third round, so it’s been a bust. Every week someone is coming after Sandy Creek’s head, so it prepares us. And then physically, the summer workouts. All the running, lifting — it’s one of the hardest things. The way they push you, at first, made me really consider if I wanted to play football at this level or not. But that’s what I like about these coaches. They push you until you don’t want to be pushed anymore.”
STOVALL: You mentioned how everybody comes after Sandy Creek’s head. Is that why I saw some folks from Fayette on Twitter Sunday night predicting they were gonna beat you guys?
JACKSON: (Laughs) “Oh yeah. Very much so. You know, Fayette is alright, and Woodward beat us last year. So, you know, yeah, we’re gonna take it one game at a time and all that, but we’re definitely looking forward to playing those two for sure.”
STOVALL: So when will you make the final, big decision?
JACKSON: “It’ll definitely be before Friday’s game (against Creekview). I can just focus on football and winning a state championship then.”
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