Kearis Jackson’s commitment date is getting closer, and three programs are in legitimate contention to make one final push.
The Peach County wide receiver has Alabama, Auburn and Georgia standing out in a top-10 list released June 29. He plans to commit Aug. 19, six days before the Trojans’ season opener at Houston County.
Jackson is potentially looking to see what is in store with Harrison quarterback Justin Fields, a top prospect who de-committed from Penn State.
The Bulldogs’ pursuit of Jackson at the slot has been all-or-nothing for wide receivers coach James Coley. Georgia has a three-man depth chart — Terry Godwin, Mecole Hardman Jr. and Charlie Woerner — at the position.
Coley landed four wide receivers in his first full recruiting class at Georgia and has yet to get a commitment for the 2018 group.
“He’s only recruited one slot receiver (for 2018), and that’s me,” Jackson said. “He wants me to come in and play the slot, and he believes I’m bigger, more physical and aggressive than Isaiah (McKenzie) was. They need a guy to replace his spot.
“They moved Terry (Godwin) to the slot, and I believe he has a good chance of going to the league. Once he leaves, they won’t have a slot anymore. If I come in and play it, that’ll be a good opportunity for me.”
Macon has a great tradition with guys making it to the next level. I think we’re on a very long streak with guys going to Division I schools year after year. They’re already on the map. When you make it to a big college, it means there’s rich talent in my state and my community.
Peach County’s Kearis Jackson
Jackson and Fields have been on quite a tour throughout the summer on a number of showcase camps. They took part in The Opening (regionals and finals), the Rivals showcase camp and a Cam Newton 7-on-7 event.
It wasn’t the first time at the team-oriented showcase camp for the two in-state products. In fact, their relationship began at the 7-on-7 tournament hosted by a former Auburn signal-caller.
“Ever since I started playing those 7-on-7 teams, Justin and I have gotten closer,” Jackson said. “I like the way that Justin throws the ball; he’s accurate, has great touch and is smart with the ball. He’s just a fun guy to be around, and I wouldn’t mind playing with him one day if that were to happen.”
The aspect of a package deal is not definite, yet something that both could see in their future. It is the same for Jackson and Houston County guard Trey Hill.
“(Fields and Jackson) prefer to play together, but it’ll be all based on what’s best for us,” Jackson said. “I wish it was (a package deal), but right now it’s looking like just what’s going to be best.”
Georgia head coach Kirby Smart has wasted little time landing top classes since he took over the program. Smart and his staff had the third-ranked class in 2017, and the 2018 group is beginning to build momentum with eight commitments, including one from the nation’s No. 1 running back, and a number of important commitments dates looming.
“They recruit the state hard,” Jackson said. “For one, they have spots open, and guys see things like that. And it’s just Coach Smart, coming from Alabama where there’s a great tradition. He also has a great tradition from playing at Georgia and coming back to his alma mater as a head coach.”
Jackson, Hill, Warner Robins offensive lineman Christian Armstrong and Jackson’s Peach County teammate JaQuez Jackson lead a strong Middle Georgia contingent of recruits this season. That group follows a 2017 class that included five-star Houston County quarterback Jake Fromm, who enrolled early at Georgia.
“Macon has a great tradition with guys making it to the next level,” Peach County’s star wide receiver said. “I think we’re on a very long streak with guys going to Division I schools year after year. They’re already on the map. When you make it to a big college, it means there’s rich talent in my state and my community.”