Griffin’s Toby Jackson, the only member of Georgia’s incoming recruiting class not to qualify, is disappointed about missing his opportunity to play for the No. 1 team in the nation.
Instead of practicing with the Bulldogs, where he was expected to contribute at defensive end, Jackson has been working out with some high school buddies in preparation for reporting on Friday to Hargrave (Va.) Military Prep.
“I wouldn’t say I’m heart-broken, but it hurts,” Jackson said. “However, I’m happy for the other freshmen and rest of the team. They’ve earned the shot at being No. 1. Hopefully I can take care of what I have to do in prep school and join those guys [at Georgia] in time for bowl practice.”
The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Jackson said he has already made the necessary grades, but needs to improve his test scores. He hasn’t had much to do with Georgia since getting the news at the beginning of July that his college career would be delayed.
Jackson hasn’t visited Athens or attended any preseason practices. He talked with a few of the other freshmen recruits in the early summer, but sort of lost contact. However, Georgia coach Mark Richt and recruiting coordinator Rodney Garner gave Jackson a pep talk over the telephone last week.
“They just encouraged me, telling me to stay focused and stay hungry,” Jackson said. “They told me to use my time wisely at Hargrave.”
Jackson was arguably Georgia’s most heralded recruit on defense last year, earning the ranking as the country’s No. 5 strongside defensive end by Rivals. He picked the Bulldogs over USC and Miami. Within the last month, Jackson said LSU and Alabama have let him know a scholarship is available if he changes his mind, but he said he is Georgia-bound.
Georgia signed 24 players last year, including Cedar Grove’s Xavier Avery, who opted for professional baseball over football.
– Courtesy of AJC.com