By MICA WILHITE
Jefferson High School senior TQ Jackson has verbally committed to play football for the University of Arkansas.
“TQ visited several other campuses but after every visit, he would say, ‘it just wasn’t like the Arkansas trip,’” Monique Jackson, TQ’s mother, said.
The standout Bulldog wide receiver praised the Arkansas coaching staff.
“Coach (Chad) Morris is a great guy and a family man,” TQ said. “He told me he would coach me hard, but it was only tough love to make me better.”
A former Gilmer coach was the first to spot TQ.
“I got Coach Jeff Traylor’s attention,” TQ explained. “I started talking to him at the end of my sophomore year. SMU was interested in me and the first one to offer. There were three offers before Arkansas. I explored all my options and took them all in consideration. “At the end of the day Arkansas was the best choice,” TQ said.
TQ expects he will be only the first of many Bulldogs to graduate into the college ranks.
“I’m striving for this year to win more and help my teammates get more exposure,” TQ said. “Some deserve a lot more exposure than what they get.”
TQ’s personal goals for the 2018 season include at least 50 catches, 1000 yards and 15 TDs. He also wants to build chemistry with teammates.
“We have to believe in each other,” he explained.
TQ expects the key game this fall will be against the Rabbits.
“Atlanta will be the best game,” TQ said.
TQ said his personal best in the 40-yard dash is now 4.53 seconds. He also wants to add at least another 10 pounds before graduation and playing in the Southeastern Conference.
Competing in what is arguably the premiere conference in the country, TQ said he found the idea of testing himself against some of the best players in the country appealing.
“Yes, I’d like to play NFL, play with the best to be the best,”
Monique said she totally supports her son’s decision.
“Whatever he decides to do, we would do it together,” Monique said.
Monique studied depth charts, the tutoring, the school programs, and the classes at Arkansas.
“At the end of the day, I wanted this decision to be about TQ,” Monique said. “This is something he has to do. First we visited Fayetteville and saw the resources he will have, the Jerry Jones center, I was very impressed. I love Fayetteville.”
Monique believes someone else had a hand in the process.
“This was God’s timing and he made the best decision for him,” Monique said.
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