"I took Zachary Jackson and Frederick Moore to Ole Miss last Friday so they could get a good look at their campus and team," added coach Gene Harmon out of Heidelberg. "Neither one of my kids had ever been up there before, and I thought it was a good chance for them to get some exposure."
When did Ole Miss start recruiting Zachary?
"Coach (Tyrone) Nix and I played together down at Southern Miss so I have known him a real long time. He called me at the end of the season and asked if we had any players, and I told him about Zach and Frederick. He asked me if they were SEC level, and I told him yes. I actually told Ty (Nix) that Zach can play in the pros one day. He is that level of a player, and they have been talking to him ever since."
What was Jackson hoping to find out about Ole Miss before he came on the trip?
"He wanted to see if he could come in and play early. He does not want to be redshirted so he came in and scouted their players to see if they were players better than him at his position. He walked away thinking the safeties they had returning are not better. That is all he was really looking at. He just wants to play early. Although I will say that he also wanted to get a good look at the Ole Miss coaches and facilities too."
What did the MSU commit think about the Ole Miss coaches?
"He likes them. Zach really likes Coach (Ty) Nix a lot. He thinks he is a great defensive mind and likes how aggressive they play on defense. Zach likes their schemes too."
What about the facilities?
"We come from a small town where we do not have much so anything he sees is going to be an eye opener for him. But you know Ole Miss. They put so much money in their facilities and these kids are kind of caught back from it. I mean, you like at their IPF and just all of their facilities. They were just in awe about the whole place, the whole campus."
Where does this leave Jackson and Ole Miss?
"There is interest. I am not going to lie about that. He is listening to what they have to offer. He listens to what everybody has to offer, not only Ole Miss, but he is still committed to MSU. The visit did nothing to change that."
What is Ole Miss telling Zachary?
"They told him that they are still going to recruit him no matter who he is committed to (laugh). They just want to try and get him up there as much as possible so he can get a better understanding of what they are all about. They are not going to give up on him. That is for sure."
What led to Jackson giving MSU a verbal commitment?
"They have been recruiting Zach since last spring. They have been talking to him quite a bit. Coach (Tony) Hughes came in last spring and loved him right then and have been recruiting him ever since. That was the biggest thing. They had built a good relationship before everyone even knew who he was."
Who else is showing Jackson interest?
"MSU, Ole Miss, USM, Memphis, Kentucky, and Alabama called about him the other day. I think they are about to start recruiting him. Ole Miss and State have offered so far, but I am sure there will be a lot more after everybody starts learning about him. He is a big time safety."
What makes Jackson so special of a player?
"He is just so aggressive and comes at you with a lot of contact. That is his biggest asset. He has a lot of natural ability, but you do not find many that have the kind of dedication to the game of football as Zach. That is what sets him apart. I call him an old school player."
Jackson missed the first five games of his junior season because of a broken foot, but when healthy, he has more than produced.
"Zach was named out team's MVP as only a freshman. Last year he was not himself. He was only about 85 percent healthy when he came back into the line-up, but an 85 percent Zach Jackson is better than 99 percent of the players on any field. He is just a football player."
Yancy Porter is the Recruiting Manager for the State of Mississippi and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org