It was in second grade, playing flag football, that Keith ‘BK’ Jackson’s love of football was cemented. That love carried him through little league, toward a state championship playing for Ridge Point High School and now, settling in as a running back for the University of North Texas.
Rated among the top 100 running backs in the class of 2021 in Texas, Jackson tallied an impressive 192 carries for 1,179 yards and 18 touchdowns during his senior season in 11 appearances, helping Ridge Point to the 6A Division 1 state quarterfinal.
As Jackson prepares for the season with the “Mean Green,” he talked with the Defender about his past and his very bright future.
Defender: At Ridge Point, you garnered a lot of attention, even being named Offensive Player of the Game during the championship against North Shore. How did you determine what position was best for you?
Keith: I moved around from position to position throughout my football career. I mostly played defense, but by my eighth grade year, I really was a true running back. And I played that since, all the way up to now.
Defender: How would you describe your style of play?
Keith Jackson, Jr.: I’m a physical, all-purpose back. I get downfield and I’m able to make plays. I also consider myself a leader. I lead by my actions and words.
Defender: Ridge Point shocked football fans with making it all the way to state. That’s something not many players can boast. How did that achievement make you feel?
Keith: I felt great. I felt awesome. It was a great achievement coming from a new coaching staff, a first-year head coach and just during this pandemic. I’m glad we got to do that and make history for my school. We’d never gotten that far since 2015.
Defender: What do you think made the team so good? And what is your prediction for this year’s team?
Keith: We just never backed down from the challenge. We never blamed others when we didn’t do well. We stayed true to ourselves and believed in ourselves that we could win, even after losing the first two games of our regular season. I think this year’s team will carry on the legacy. We set the tone and I have no doubt they’ll do even better this year.
Defender: There were a lot of schools interested in having you come play football. How did you decide on the University of North Texas?
Keith: I researched them and they had a very explosive office, and I liked it because the staff showed me a lot of love and they wanted me to be a part of the team. I’m also excited to be majoring in sports journalism. My hope is to eventually one day be on ESPN as a sportscaster.
Defender: Though you’re just in training mode, what would you say is the biggest difference between college and high school football?
Keith: It’s more fast-paced. It’s more intense from high school ball.
Defender: What advice would you give to other young players hoping to be recruited?
Keith: Keep grinding, keep working, don’t give up, stay focused and locked in with everything you do. Always focus on getting better in the individual position you want to play.
Defender: What are you doing when you’re not playing football?
Keith: When I’m not playing football, I’m usually on Netflix watching movies or I’m on my laptop, working.
Defender: You credit your parents, Angie and Keith Jackson, Sr. with a lot of your success. How important was their support of your love of football?
Keith: Very important. They’ve been there. They’ve been supporting me when I didn’t want to support myself, but they gave me confidence to know I can do this, to be a better teammate and help my team win. I did feel confident about myself and they told me to control what I control and be a good team player.
About Keith Jackson
Other offers: Ole Miss, Tennessee, Utah State, Colorado State, Boise State, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Western Kentucky and Sam Houston State
Players he studies: Alvin Kamara and other great running backs