LSU returned to the state of Texas to continue establishing the foundation of its Class of 2021 recruiting class.
A day after having a record-tying 14 players taken in the NFL draft, the Tigers continued their program-wide momentum Sunday with a commitment from four-star defensive end Landon Jackson of Pleasant Grove High-Texarkana, Tex.
The 6-6, 240-pound Jackson, who got a glimpse of LSU last season during its 50-7 romp over Texas A&M, chose the Tigers over the Aggies and Texas.
“Those three staffs built really good relationships with me,” Jackson said. “I liked the scheme and the way they’ll be playing me. There’s something different about LSU. I liked their culture. I’m hyped up about it.
“It was an incredible weekend,” Jackson said. “I hadn’t seen a fan base like it. I just loved everything about it. We stayed over and went the coaches the next day, spent time and took a visit and just loved it.”
Jackson became LSU’s second commitment from the Lone Star State within a 72-hour span. The Tigers also picked up a pledge from Aledo, Texas wide receiver JoJo Earle.
The Tigers’ recruiting class, which now has seven prospects, jumped up to No. 18 nationally according to 247Sports.
Jackson expanded his original list of finalists March 24 to include: Alabama, Arkansas, Miami, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas and Washington before recently reducing that list to LSU, Texas A&M and Texas.
Jackson was scheduled to take an official visit to LSU in May, but those plans were shelved because of the ongoing coronavirus health scare. He said LSU will be the only school that gets a visit from him when conditions improve.
“I based it off all of the relationships I had with all of the coaches,” said Jackson, who was recruited by LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and defensive line coach Bill Johnson. “I narrowed it down to three schools that I was really interested in. I’ve been thinking about it for the past two weeks. Everything just added up perfect for LSU. There’s not a negative with them.
“If I wanted to keep my options available with other schools, I wouldn’t have committed,” Jackson said. “I’m committed 100% to LSU and I don’t plan on flipping unless something tragic happens.”
Jackson said his parents, including his father Larry Jackson who played basketball for two years at Texas A&M and five years professionally, were hands-off during his recruiting process.
“He let me make my own decision,” Jackson said of his dad. “My parents have lways said they would support me wherever I wanted to go.”
LSU’s national championship season, coupled with its school-record showing in the NFL draft, were also driving forces in Jackson’s decision.
“It will always play a big part,” he said. “I want to go to a team where I’ll be winning some games with a chance to win a national championship. I also want to go play with other good players as well.”
Jackson is rated the nation’s No. 106 overall prospect by 247Sports and No. 3 weak-side defensive end. He’s the No. 19th rated player in Texas.
“Enormous frame with a ton of space to add bulk to an already impressive build,” 247Sports recruiting analyst Gabe Brooks. “Put together like a college hybrid edge.”
Jackson was considered one of the driving forces for Pleasant Grove (15-1) which captured the Class 4A-DII state championship with a 35-21 win over Wimberley.
He was selected the Class 4A Defensive Player of the Year by the Texas Sports Writers Association after compiling 111 tackles with 16 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries for a team which won its last 10 games of the season.
Jackson contributed to the team’s offense from his tight end/wingback position as well with six catches for 111 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson also earned national honors from MaxPreps.com, which selected him to their High School Junior All-American Football Team.
“He’s played a variety of spots for perennial Texas 4A D-II state title contender, including off-line, standing edge, and traditional end,” Brooks said. “Provided outstanding production for state title team as a junior.
Jackson is already committed to play in the 2021 Under Armour All-American game.
Despite a torn ACL in the ninth game of his sophomore season Jackson was named to the All-District 7-4A-II team. He was selected the league’s Newcomer of the Year during his freshman season in which Pleasant Grove was the Class 4A state runner-up.
“Frame potential suggests possibility to fit multiple positions in varying schemes,” Brooks said. “Flashes quick get-off with terrific closing speed in pursuit. Dangerous from the backside. Fairly fluid as a rusher, bends pretty well relative to height/length, and runs the arc naturally. Bona fide playmaker who makes impact stops. Arrives with a purpose and can provide the big hit at times. Also flips to play tight end in run-first scheme.”