Fresh off a Kentucky visit, I had the pleasure of speaking with three-star senior, Kendall Jackson over the weekend. The recruiting target in the 2024 class had a lot today about his experience in Lexington as they look to be one of hot favorites to land him, along with Miami, Arkansas, and Florida.
The Gainesville native has over a dozen offers already as he heads into his senior season at F. W. Buchholz High School in swamp country, Florida. As he still is taking official visits and trying to decide where he wants to spend his collegiate career at, I wanted to see what he thought of his experience in Lexington this past weekend. He expressed that his visit went very well and that he "had a great time building a relationship with the staff and current players" that were on campus. "Just getting to know the guys that I could potentially be around is what I always look forward to when I go on these visits," said Jackson.
The player he connected with the most on the visit was with breakout freshman, Deone Walker. "I was around Deone for the most part so me and him clicked well." With both of them being defensive linemen, I'm sure the majority of the visit was aligned with each other and to be honest, I couldn't think of a better future mentor to have than he, if Kendall Jackson was to decide to be a future Wildcat.
In terms of what the school had to offer in facilities and recent success, Kendall said, "Kentucky is a great program that’s starting to get some recognition and like any SEC program, they move with a different level of intensity." As we all know, almost every high school football player's dream centers around the Southeastern Conference and with Kentucky competing with the powers of the conference year in and year out, it makes the program really compelling to recruits. The increase in this over the last half-decade has been tremendous. Kentucky offers a fair chance to recruits to come make a name for themselves in the sports' hardest conference, for a blue-collar staff, and for the chance of receiving all of the tools to move on to the next level after their time here.
Kentucky and the SEC might be compelling to many, but what exactly compels the staff to so desperately want to land Kendall Jackson as the next defensive lineman to enter the program? His "versatility and athleticism." The staff is telling him that "not a lot of athletes can move and do what I do on the field like I do it." Standing at 6-foot-4 and owning a stature of 250 lbs., I can easily believe how the staff could envision him as a future SEC power.
While the visit lasted for the weekend, there's plenty of more recruiting the staff will have to do to fend off the other interested schools for a commitment pledge from the top-70 football recruit from the sunshine state. He currently holds offers from USF, UCF, Miami, Florida, Troy, Texas, Ole Miss, Nebraska, Mississippi State, Maryland, Louisville, Kansas, Iowa State, Georgia Tech, Florida Atlantic, Campbell, Arkansas, and Kentucky.