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Jaylen Jackson, Multi-Sport Pirate

By Barry Every
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Jackson not only left his mark on the gridiron, but starred on the hardwood while running the sprints this spring.

Recruiters looking for a multi-sport stars to sign in February must visit Brunswick, Georgia. There they will find 6-foot, 185-pound defensive back Jaylen Jackson. Jackson not only left his mark on the gridiron, but starred on the hardwood while running the sprints this spring.


On the basketball court Jackson guided the Brunswick (Ga.) Pirates to the GHSA-AAAAAA State Championship Game. He led the team in steals while being second in assists.

This past football season the safety recorded 47 tackles, three picks, two TFL’s and one fumble recovery. He also added 282 all-purpose yards. Unfortunately a poor kicking game cost the Pirates more than one contest as they finished (5-5/1-3).

After not making the playoffs for the second consecutive season, a change was made at the helm of the Pirate ship. In comes Sean Pender who accumulated a (54-18) record in six seasons at Blackshear (Ga.) Pierce County, making the playoffs each year. He wasted little time, making the move at the beginning of the spring semester.

“I haven’t been here that long, but one thing is for sure, Jackson is a very good athlete and a great character kid,” Pender said. “He has shown a great work ethic both on and off the field of play. All the teachers have nothing but great things to say about him and his grades are in order with a 3.3 core GPA. He is a kid that will look you straight in the eye and shake your hand.”

Jackson’s stock has really taken off recently, gaining FBS offers from Army, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, FAU, Tulane, Wake Forest, Western Kentucky and Western Michigan. He is also receiving serious interest from Auburn, Boston College, Georgia Tech and Georgia Southern. FCS schools Eastern Kentucky, Elon, Furman, Mercer and North Carolina Central have also laid claims to his services. One school he’d love to hear from is Florida.

“It’s been crazy lately, Jackson doesn’t even know all the schools that have offered they have come in a flurry,” Pender said. I think most schools are recruiting him as a defensive back that could project at corner or safety. He could project as a DI ping pong player, that’s how good of an athlete he is.”

This has all taken place despite not attending a single football camp this spring. But he does plan on hitting some college one day camps with his sights set on Florida’s “Friday Night Lights” and a trip to show-off his skills to the defending National Champion Clemson Tigers.

One college coach has already made a great impression on the dynamic athlete.

“Coach Ron Hunter of Wake Forest has been doing a great job recruiting me so far,” Jackson said. “He just seems like a real cool guy and he is doing a good job checking up on me.”

But the main focus right now is getting the ship righted. The Pirates will be taking on bitter crosstown rival Brunswick (Ga.) Glynn Academy May, 19 at 8:00 pm for their spring game. This will be a good test for Coach Pender and his team as Brunswick has lost the last three regular season matchups.

“We need to be a team, we need to come together,” Jackson said. “We have been training real hard this offseason while learning a new defense. I feel this new defense will really showcase my quickness, ball skills and endurance.”

So for all those recent reports stating that multi-sport athletes make better football players, FBS offers are surely on the horizon. The matchup next Friday versus the Red Terrors will pit Jackson versus the other multi-faceted Golden Isles standout, Randon Jernigan. Those two-stars alone are worth the price of admission.