Jackson, Minnesota (AP) The news of the recruiting class that landed on the doorstep of Jackson Stadium was a little more complicated than it seemed.
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound defensive end had been recruited out of high school by Ohio State, Texas A&M and Auburn, and had even been offered to play at the University of Missouri.
And then his recruitment was stopped when his parents were diagnosed with lung cancer.
Jackson was a redshirt junior in 2015 and had played only six games in three years before being moved to the bench in 2016.
The next year, the team played a season-opening game at No. 14 TCU, and the Jacksons decided to wait.
“We’re still waiting for an offer to come our way,” said Jacksson’s mother, Kim.
“So when that came in, we were pretty excited.”
In the end, the Jackson football staff and coach Jeff Brown decided that they had enough.
“The school has been great, the coaching staff has been amazing,” Brown said.
“And when we got to a place where we could offer him scholarships, we made the decision to offer him.”
So he chose to play for the Jackens, despite the cancer diagnosis.
The scholarship, though, was not guaranteed.
Jackson’s mom said that her son was told that if he did not get into the team by mid-November, he would be placed on the Reserves, where he would have to go through a medical evaluation.
“He’s had four tests and all of them were negative,” Kim said.
She said that the doctor told her that Jacksron was at high risk of having lung cancer if he didn’t play.
Jack’s mom says that the Jackons have been a tough group of people, but that Jackson has always been the toughest player to coach.
“I’m really proud of him,” Kim told The Associated Press.
“But I think he’s done a great job.”
The Jacksontas have not had a full-time starting defensive lineman since 2015, and they are the only team to rank among the nation’s bottom five in scoring defense.
That may be why they have never had a true starting quarterback since the team was a 2-10 team in 2014.
“They’ve been good, but they’re not the best,” Brown told The Dallas Morning News.
“It’s all about the players and the coaching.
It’s not just about the quarterback.”
Brown was a head coach at North Dakota State when Jacksion signed with the Jackshorns.
“When I coached there, it was a pretty good football program, but I never thought I would be coaching in Jackson,” Brown added.
“That was a great opportunity, and I’m glad that I took it.”
When Jacksions first arrived in the United States, his family had no idea what to expect when they arrived.
“My parents were always in and out of town, and that was kind of the whole vibe,” he said.
Brown’s wife, Trisha, who was the mother of his two children, was in the country on a student exchange and would not see Jacksonson until he was 18 months old.
The Jackshounds’ roster includes three players who have been on the gridiron for more than 50 games.
They include four-star offensive lineman Nick Bostic, who is the No. 1 overall recruit in the state of Texas; four-stars cornerback Tyree Wilson and safety Tyler Buhl, both of whom are from the Dallas area.
Bostic has started in all four games this season and will be the starter next week when Jackson hosts No. 15 Missouri in its season opener.
Wilson, a three-star recruit from suburban Dallas, started all 12 games in his first year as a starter and is now a starting linebacker for the team.
Buhll is a four-year starter who played in 11 games for the Cowboys in 2017.
“Nick is an all-state player, and he’s the best defensive player in the nation,” Brown explained.
“Tyree Wilson is a top prospect, and Tyree is a five-star defensive end.
They are really all-conference guys.”
In his first two seasons at Jackson as an assistant, Brown said that he never thought he would ever be able to coach a team like the Jackies.
“For me to be able do that, I’ve always been blessed to be a head football coach,” Brown joked.
“From my perspective, this is a pretty big accomplishment for me.”