Four years of not just starting but also starring at Sumrall High School earned Dannis Jackson offers upon offers from the SEC’s elite. At the end of the day, the wide receiver chose the school that made him feel most at home—Ole Miss.
On Wednesday during the early signing period, Jackson made it official and signed with the Rebels, who he had been committed to since July.
“I never had a dream school. I didn’t even plan on going to Ole Miss at first,” Jackson said. “You can ask the receivers coach, coach [Jacob] Peeler. At first I wasn’t even that interested, but once I actually gave it a chance, I loved it.
“When I committed, it felt like family. I felt like I was with my family. Signing day just finishes it off.”
In four varsity seasons at Sumrall, Jackson found the end zone a whopping 69 times. This past year, he started at quarterback for the Bobcats while Billy Garrity recovered from a season-long hip injury. Jackson also starts on the school’s basketball and baseball teams.
“Dannis is one of those rare athletes you’re lucky to get to coach,” Sumrall coach Shannon White said. “I was fortunate to have him. Just a super athlete and a multi-sport guy. Once he spends his time strictly on football, there’s no telling how much better he’s gonna get.”
Jackson picked up his first football scholarship offer as a sophomore. After Tennessee and then Southern Miss pulled the trigger, Ole Miss tossed their hat into the ring. By the time his senior season arrived, Jackson’s offer sheet went 13 teams deep. Despite all of that and the state-wide attention he garnered, Jackson remained a “background kind of guy”, according to White.
“That’s a difficult position for him to be in really because he [Jackson] is not an attention-seeking guy. But you don’t have much of a choice nowadays with social media, because his name’s all over every recruiting website. Any time he opens his mouth, it seems like he makes news. He’s handled that so well.”
A one-time Mississippi State commit, Jackson is joining an Ole Miss program known well for its wide receiving group, the “Nasty Wide Outs” or “NWO”.
“It’s gonna be fun,” Jackson said. “I’ll have great receivers beside me while I’m playing. We’ll be able to make plays.”
Jackson believes he’ll have the opportunity to contribute early for the group.
“Obviously I gotta hit the weights and things like that,” he said. “If I do what I’m supposed to do, I’ll have a chance.”