Gateway wide receiver Courtney Jackson put up staggering numbers this past fall while leading the Gators to the WPIAL 5A championship. As a junior, he grabbed 96 catches for 1,916 yards and 24 touchdowns, accounting for 27 total scores.
His recruitment has gained a lot steam in recent weeks with offers from Temple, Buffalo, Memphis, Eastern Michigan, and more recently, Cincinnati. But on Sunday Jackson received his biggest offer to date from Baylor. The Bears are the first Power 5 conference team to extend a scholarship to the 5-foot-11 wideout.
Pittsburgh Sports Now caught up with Jackson to get his reaction to the big news.
“I was ecstatic,” Jackson said of the offer. “I couldn’t believe it. That’s a huge school and how far away it is—they don’t usually come up this way or need to come up this way. So to offer someone in this area is different.”
A coach on the Gateway staff has a connection within the Baylor program and sent Matt Rhule’s staff a copy of Jackson’s highlight tape. Shortly after the Bears reached out to the 2019 prospect.
Although defensive backs coach Francis Brown is leading his recruitment, Jackson said the Bears see him as a wide receiver. Many scouting services list him as an athlete, and he does play cornerback for Gateway.
“Everywhere I go I’m considered an athlete, but I’ll fit in where ever I fit in,” Jackson said of his possible future position.
Brown and Jackson had spoken earlier in the week, but Brown waited until the weekend to extend an offer.
— Courtney™ (@cjackson9_) February 25, 2018
“It opens up a lot more doors,” Jackson said of being the first Power 5 conference team to offer. “Most colleges don’t want to be the first one, but when that first scholarship comes, more usually follow.”
As he predicted, another Power 5 school jumped into the mix late Tuesday with West Virginia extending an offer. Of all the schools to offer Jackson, Baylor is the geographically the farthest away, a possibility he never really considered until recently.
“I never thought I would have an opportunity to go that far, but I want to go where I can play and contribute,” Jackson said. “If that’s where I fit best, that’s where I’ll go.”
Jackson listed education as a top priority, adding he wants a degree that “holds a lot of weight” and will prepare him for life outside of football. Ultimately, he will choose the school that feels most comfortable.
“I want to feel like I’m at home,” Jackson said. “I want to feel comfortable outside of school, too. If I’m that far away, I don’t want to feel out of place.”
Jackson added he was invited to Pitt’s junior day but was on vacation with his family.
If Sunday was any indication, the junior wide receiver will be hearing from more big-time schools in the near future.