- Gerry Hamilton, ESPN Staff Writer
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Senior wide receiver Jesse Jackson (Petal, Miss./Petal) was presented his honorary game jersey Wednesday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game. The event was part of a three-month selection tour.
Jackson, a Mississippi State commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The game is set for 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.
“First of all, I want to thank God for the many blessings he has given me, and opportunities like this one. I want to thank him for a beautiful family that supports all the decisions I make and for putting me in a lovely school district," Jackson said. "I want to thank my teammates and students here that treat me like brothers and sisters through the good and the bad.”
Petal coach Marcus Boyles said it was the hard work of his star player that brought him to this point.
“He is one of the hardest working young men I have ever been around. If you want to get to where he’s at, then the first thing you have to understand is his hard work. God blessed with him with a lot of talent, certainly, but he took advantage of that by working extremely hard.”
Jackson decided on the UA game in part because of the players that played in the game in the past.
“Talking to people who actually played in the game, I just wanted to be part of it and do what ever it took to get there. In a way, it still feels unreal. I never pictured myself being here. Being invited to the Under Armour All-America Game is such a blessing,” Jackson said.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Jackson is the No. 93 prospect in the ESPN 300 and the No. 11 wide receiver. He committed to Mississippi State over offers from Ole Miss, Auburn, Missouri and others.