Just like his uncle Bo, Shedrick Jackson could very well be a household name when its all said and done. The 6-foot-2, 198-pound wide receiver put up some impressive numbers during his "The Opening" evaluations: a 4.55-second 40-yard dash, a 4.21-second 20-yard shuttle, a 33.5-foot power throw, and a 38.5-inch vertical jump, good for a SPARQ rating of 109.23, which is third among all receivers at the Atlanta regional and only behind standouts Kearis Jackson & Alontae Taylor. A 4.55-second 40-yard dash time puts him among the upper echelon of athletes, but the rising senior claims he's even faster than that.
“As a wide receiver, I’m definitely explosive,” Jackson told Gridiron Now. “People see me and think, ‘He’s a big guy, so he might not be able to run too fast.’ But when I’m on the field I’m faster than anybody out there. I have speed and I play physical. I would definitely say that I am versatile as a wide receiver.”
That versatility will serve him well in an offense like Georgia Tech's which thrives on individual matchups. "With that option, it creates a lot of one-on-one (matchups) on the outside," Jackson told AL.com. "That's how you make plays."
But beyond that, Jackson really has taken significant interest in Georgia Tech's history of producing terrific NFL-caliber receivers. When prompted about Georgia Tech and his interest in them, Shedrick told GTSwarm.com, "I have interest in them because of the way they work and because they have a history of great receivers. Some of my favorite receivers played there. Calvin Johnson is my favorite wide receiver of all-time and I think he has been the best for a while. As of right now I feel like Julio Jones is the best in the NFL, but Demaryius Thomas is another of my favorite wide receivers."
Jackson caught 43 passes for 661 yards and three touchdowns last season and had four receptions for Hoover High School in the AHSAA Class 7A state championship win over McGill-Toolen in December. Regarded as one of the top 20 overall prospects in Alabama for 2018, Jackson recently narrowed down his list to 5: Georgia Tech, Auburn, Mississippi State, Missouri, and Memphis. Out of those schools, the only one he hasn't visited is Missouri, and has made it out several times to the others, including Tech.
"I've been on campus 2 times, and I plan to come for some games this season and possible visits this summer." Jackson attended 1 spring practice in April where he earned an offer and came back out to the Flats for the spring game. "The fans there are incredible. I went to the scrimmage and they talked to me in the stands telling me how it's a great place to be and encouraging me to come there."
He hasn't had 'best visit' up to this point, and has had a great time at each school he's visited. There also isn't much separation in his mind as to any school recruiting harder than others: "they are all recruiting me pretty hard at this point and I have at least one coach from each school that keeps up with me, about 2 or 3 days each week." For Georgia Tech, that means texting and talking with wide receivers Coach Buzz Preston on a regular basis. He also didn't think that there was any one pitch that Georgia Tech coaches were selling him on most, rather that he knows they have a history for producing receivers and the way that they are committed to work on and off the field, which he finds interesting.
Shedrick likes to get into different subjects, and if he couldn't play football, he'd probably be somewhere trying to start a business of his own or traveling the world to see different things. As far as business and academics goes, he's not too worried. "All the schools I'm looking at now have a great business school, so I'm not so much worried about that or location. It'll just come down to whichever one I feel I can go and max out my potential at." He also told AL.com about what else he is looking for in a school, mainly about the chemistry the program has. "Trying to build a chemistry, the way their coaches and players (conduct themselves) and if it's a family atmosphere because here at Hoover, that's what we have," Jackson said. "It's a lot of love. I know all these guys and love them."
As far as a decision, it will come at some point further down the road. When asked about it, Shedrick said "no specific date; it'll just happen whenever I feel it is right." However, he does plan to be an early enrollee and graduate from high school in December, which means his decision could come sometime later in the summer. If he turns out to be as anywhere close to as dominant as his uncle once was for Auburn, then he'll be one of the better grabs for whoever ends up landing his commitment.
Multiple staff members contributed to this article.