October 23, 2008

North Atlanta QB's stock continuing to rise

North Atlanta High School quarterback Jamal Jackson first emerged on the Georgia high school football landscape back in July with his impressive performance at the first annual Tee Martin Playmaker passing Camp. Since that time, Jackson has been leading his North Atlanta Warriors, who are off to a 4-3 start and possibly headed to their first playoff berth in 12 years.

The season is hitting the home stretch for Jackson and his North Atlanta squad as is his recruiting, which he says is starting to heat up.

"It's been pretty good," Jackson said of his recruitment. "The last couple of weeks, I've been getting calls from a lot of different coaches."

Among the schools who have been in contact with the 6-foot-4 signal caller, is Kansas State, South Florida, Tennessee State, Jacksonville State and Mississippi State.

While Jackson has yet to pick up his first official scholarship offer, he is confident that'll change when his senior year film lands in the hands of college coaches.

"Once I send out my film just from this season, I think that's when [offers] will start rolling in," he said. "Once I get my tape out there, I think they'll definitely start rolling in, but I'm just trying to take things one at a time…we're getting toward of the season and just trying to make the playoffs."

Jackson mentioned that schools like Central Florida, Boston College and Oregon have requested film.

Coaches will see on film what many witnessed at the Tee Martin camp back in July-a prospect with a live arm and a lot of raw athletic ability to work with. As for his play this season, Jackson is pleased with his output so far.

"I've been playing pretty well," he said. "I've had some games where I could've done better, but overall I think I've been having a pretty good senior year. I'm just trying to lead and help win games."

Jackson credits Martin, the team's offensive coordinator, for his solid season to date, which includes 1,300 yards of total offense and 16 touchdowns.

"It's been great [working with Martin]," Jackson said. "I learn some new things every day and I've just been becoming a better player and person, so it's been great."

Jackson is also getting it done in the classroom, which is sure to make him that much more attractive to colleges.

"Right now I'm sitting at a 3.7 G.P.A," he said proudly. "I just took the SAT on the 4th and I took my ACT last summer and I'm taking both over just to be on the safe side."

While Jackson is focused on his team and schoolwork at this time, he still has taken time to think about a couple of schools where he thinks he could fit in.

"It's really balanced," he said of his interest in particular schools, "but I do like South Florida and Central Florida. I fit in with their offense, but right now I'm just balanced with everybody. Really, no school has the upper hand."

Jackson has yet to visit any schools, but plans to do so in the near future.

"I plan on doing that after football season because everything has been real bunched up with this football season, so I think I'll have more time to do what I have to do and once my tape gets out there after the season everything will be set up."

Jackson and his North Atlanta team has a stiff test Friday night against a good Carver-Atlanta squad that features one of the top defensive backs in America in Darren Myles, but Jackson thinks his Warriors squad will be ready.

"We had a real good, crisp practice [today]," he said. "Things went pretty good and we're just getting ready to play Friday."

"[They have] speed on both sides of the ball [but] I think we're ready to play them. We've been working hard, getting our game plan together."


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