Jackson Wants To Be Next In Line From The 'Sip
The state of Mississippi has a long lineage of producing NFL talent, especially at the receiver position. Of course there’s Jerry Rice, Eric Moulds and even Todd Pinkston. More recently, however, there’s Donte Moncrief and Kevin Norwood.
Having grown up in Sumrall, Mississippi, there’s plenty of reasons why Dannis Jackson would want to grow up to be the next star wideout from his home state.
“I used to watch football on TV when I was younger. I just always knew this was something I wanted to do,” Jackson told SES Mississippi. “I’ve been in love with the game since I picked the ball up.”
And since he picked the ball up, he’s been a standout. Whether it was in the yard, or his first season of tackle football in second grade, he was just different.
Fast forward to 2017 and Jackson is a highly sought after receiver prospect, who is only approaching his junior season. He says the stats he’s posted so far in his prep career is what he thinks has brought the attention from major college programs. He already totes offers from Tennessee, Southern Miss, Ole Miss and LSU.
“It was always a dream for me to play college ball, and the level after. So it’s great to get offers, but I would say I didn’t know these schools would have a lot of interest in me,” He explained.
Speaking of his production, just last season he caught 69 passes for 1,130 yards and 17 touchdowns. All that, plus 192 yards and another score on the ground, to go with 237 kick off return yards and a touchdown.
Sumrall finished the season at 5-6.
“My season was pretty good as an individual. As a team, we improved, but I’m pretty sure that wasn’t enough for everybody on the team.”
“We aren’t where we need to be, so everybody has to work harder to do their part.”
Though a bright future awaits Jackson, his focus is clear. The team winning games is his immediate goal. However, that doesn’t mean his vision for the future is limited.
“Looking ahead to next season my expectations are to get better, and for my team to just win,” Jackson said.
“What drives me, though, that’s an easy answer. I want to make it so I can see my family have what they want, when they want it. And so they can have what they need, when they need it.”
That drive is Jackon’s biggest asset in his pursuit of his goal to be like the greats from Mississippi before him. Bringing his focus back to the present, though, he knows he has to take advantage of the offseason before him. He has plans to do just that, including attending the Fortius Project stop at Southwest Mississippi community college on May 6th.
“It’s something pretty local, and hopefully I can catch someone’s attention,” Jackson said. “In my mind my strengths would probably be speed, and just the natural feeling I have when it comes to playing the sport.”
Catching is something that Jackson is obviously very gifted at, in fact, he really caught 70 passes in 2016 if you include his interception on defense. That isn’t the skill that he feels makes a receiver great, though. Confidence and toughness are the qualities he sees most commonly when examining the greats. And he would know, as he’s walked side-by-side with a former NFL player, Bobby Hamilton, who is his cousin.
“He comes home a lot. Our relationship is good,” He explained. “He’s trying to teach me the game of football. Not just posting it, but how to read things and just how to be responsible.”
Perhaps that’s what makes the lineage of NFL players from the Magnolia state so strong. Each one feels compelled to teach one. Don’t be surprised to see Dannis Jackson coming home in the offseason to return the favor.
**Photo courtesy of Richard Thompson