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Football was a sport Skyline senior strong safety Julian Jackson was destined to star in.
His mother is a massive football fan, always having the 49ers on every Sunday throughout his child – watching some of the Jim Harbaugh teams make deep postseason runs to a couple of Super Bowl runner-up finishes, including this past season under head coach Kyle Shanahan.
“When I was 10 I played for the Dynamites, and I was just playing for fun, but then once I went to Skyline my freshman year I was like I could really do this as living, so I tried my best,” Jackson said. “I’ve tried my best ever since to get better and not just play for fun, but play to get somewhere.”
Jackson’s path at Skyline got him destined to play somewhere at the next level.
The 2019 season at Skyline was a historic one, bringing the school back to some of its glory days it consistently reached. It won nine games, made a runner-up finish in the Silver Bowl – Oakland’s championship game – and compiled its best season since 2004, which is, coincidentally, when head coach Joe Bates was one of the area’s premier players on the roster that season before eventually going on to play at Toledo.
And Jackson was an integral part of the program’s transformation to a name-brand out of the East Bay.
An All-City defensive back, Jackson accumulated 36 total tackles and was part of nine turnovers, recording three interceptions, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries on a defensive unit that surrendered 14.1 points per game.
Jackson credits those around him for his success as a Skyline Titan.
“Coach Bates really helps us after school with study hall, after practice and making sure that we’re good after practice,” Jackson said. “My teachers who are believing in me and allowing me do whatever I need to do to get my grades up and be successful in school. My family. My Mom and Dad and my sister also. Every time I write an essay I have her read it because she just graduated college in communications, so I want to make sure I’m at a high level. I really look up to her.”
Also a varsity captain, Jackson has garnered three opportunities to play collegiate football.
Concordia Chicago, Pacific and Trine are Jackson’s offers thus far, and with improvements in the classroom, those scholarships became possible due to his dedication as a student.
“The recruiting process has been hard for me because in the past I was not good at school, so my grades was not really what the coaches wanted to see, but I want to thank coach Bates for getting me back on track and getting me where I need to be in school so that I could play college football like I want to,” Jackson said. “Right now I have three offers, and it’s really hard to get out to coaches and gain their interest because my GPA is not as high as it should be.”
With his final high school season looming, Jackson wants to add on to his and Skyline’s resume in every area and not just in terms of winning football games,
“For team goal I think we’re all focused on going and winning inside of the championship, but for personal goals I want to continue to maintain a 4.0 for the rest of the semesters in my high school career, and I also want to have a chance to get a scholarship to get my school paid for in college,” Jackson said.
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