Jaeden Jackson isn’t a “top” recruit in the 2023 recruiting cycle… yet, but it’s only a matter of time before he is.
Already a top baseball recruit, garnering an 8.5 rating from PerfectGame.org — between a potential draft pick and/or excellent college prospect and a potential top-10 round pick/highest level college prospect — it’s only a matter of time before the defensive lineman is both a top baseball and football recruit.
Jackson (6-foot-3, 280 pounds) is one of the fastest rising defensive line recruits in the country in the class of 2023, already fielding offers from Akron, Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Kentucky, Liberty, Marshall, Michigan, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi State and West Virginia. Additionally, he’s received interest from Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Ohio State, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
While he’s not currently ranked on 247Sports or Rivals, he’s expected to become a highly rated recruit this season.
With college coaches able to reach out to high school recruits at midnight on Sept. 1, WVU head coach Neal Brown wasted no time getting a hold of Jackson and his family.
“I was on their radar for quite some time,” Jackson told WV Sports Now. “They reached out, showing me and telling me they wanted Morgantown to be my next home. September first, midnight madness is what we all call it. Coach Brown made it special along with coach Jackson.”
— Jaeden Jackson (J. Buggie) (@BuggieJaeden) September 2, 2021
However, as the staff reached out to Jackson, he was fast asleep since it was still a school night. Waking up to messages from Brown and WVU defensive line coach Andrew Jackson was a much welcomed “good morning” text for Jackson.
“Well, I was snoring or calling the cows as my dad puts it,” Jackson said. “I woke up to several messages from the staff and I really felt wanted when the West Virginia head coach is involved. Very heartwarming and very blessed by the grace of God giving me the ability to play this game.”
Jackson knows of Brown from his time at Troy, noting the proximity from Troy to his town of Skipperville, Alabama. While he admitted that he doesn’t know much of WVU, he’s young and willing to learn. In bringing up Troy, Jackson said he knew Brown did a great job leading the program and feels like that’ll continue at WVU.
While Jackson is still taking in his recruiting process, he’s been impressed by WVU’s commitment to him so far.
“I honestly have to say I still haven’t soaked it all in because it all changed so fast,” Jackson said. “But I will say this, coach Jackson and the staff have stayed committed to helping me learn them as they learn me. The things coach Jackson said were very positive and had me feeling really good about my game.”
With COVID-19 still impacting life right now, Jackson isn’t sure about attending any WVU games this season, but he’s definitely interested in a visit to get to meet WVU’s staff. He feels like he’d get along well with WVU fans, saying how they’re wild and crazy, “like me.”
Jackson said his dad is the one who worries about recruiting at this point while he just goes about his business, doing schoolwork, lifting, training and learning how to get better.
His junior season with George W. Long High School begins Friday night against Elba High School, and all he’s focused on right now giving the Tigers hell and helping to lead his team to a win.