#22 Highland Springs RB Jordan Jackson (Photo: Lance Hinton/recruit757)
Family inspires a Jordan Jackson commitment to Saint Francis
by Byron Jones, recruit804
Like thousands of high school football players across the country, Highland Springs running back Jordan Jackson (2021 5-10 215) always dreamed of getting the opportunity to play football at the Division I level. For Jackson, it was a goal he made for himself after tragedy struck him and his family a few years ago. In 2016, Jordan’s oldest brother D’Marco succumbed to his battle with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a disease that destroys bone marrow and prevents it from producing much-needed blood cells.
Before his diagnosis at the age of 16, D’Marco was a budding superstar on the gridiron. He started at running back as a freshman on Glen Allen’s varsity team before transferring to Hermitage High School where he graduated in 2015. The elder Jackson gave a heartfelt and riveting speech at commencement that went viral. Here’s the video:
Throughout his bout with the disease, D’Marco always remained optimistic about his future and wanted to set a good example for his four younger brothers (quadruplets), Jordan, Payton, Donovan, and Ryan. “He’s the reason why I wear #22,” explained Jordan. “He wore #22 when he played so I wanted to wear it to honor him.”
He continued, “D’Marco inspires me because he was great in the classroom and he always did what was expected of him, despite the things he was going through. He also had a big impact on a lot people whether they were family, friends, or complete strangers.”
On Friday afternoon, Jordan announced that he will be taking his talents to Saint Francis University, located in Loretto, Pennsylvania. The Red Flash are members of the Northeast Conference and compete at the Division I FCS level. With his commitment, Jordan has fulfilled his goal of making it to the Division I level.
When asked about his commitment and how playing at Highland Springs has prepared him for this moment, Jackson stated, “It feels great. I feel like all of my hard work has finally paid off. At Highland Springs, our coaches prepare us all for the next level. Our program is run like a college, and I get to compete against the best players in the state every single day.”
He continued, “I believe Saint Francis is a great fit for me academically due to their small class sizes. I also believe I will be a great fit in their offensive scheme. I’m excited for the opportunity to learn and be coached by a former NFL player.”
The NFL player that Jordan is referring to is Head Coach Chris Villareal who spent 11 seasons in the NFL as an offensive lineman with the Chicago Bears (1996-2004) and the Buffalo Bills (2004-2006).
Jordan received his offer from Saint Francis back on December 2 and was recruited by running back coach Josh Hutchison. “They want an all-conference caliber back with my downhill running style who could come in and move the chains and be an impact player,” he explained.
Jackson held additional offers from West Virginia State University, Hampden-Sydney, and Culver-Stockton College. He received additional interest from VMI and UT Chattanooga according to his Twitter profile.
Jordan earned second-team All-Region 5B honors last fall after rushing for 703 yards on 102 carries (9.0ypc) and recording eight touchdowns. His father, Robbie Jackson, serves as the running backs coach and strength and conditioning coordinator for the Springers. His brother Payton (2021 DT 5-11 250) currently holds offers from Clark University and Hampden-Sydney College. Payton could see his offer list grown once football resumes in the spring.
– Byron Jones