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by Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Few defensive ends possess more hulking brutality, all-encompassing versatility, size, speed or towering pain-letting than Pleasant Grove's 2021 LSU commit Landon Jackson.
What a career of game-changing, trench dominating, teammate-inspiring performances Landon established at Pleasant Grove:
300 Tackles, 45.5 Sacks, an interception, 12 Forced fumbles, 6 Fumble recoveries (including a scoop and score), 75 TFL, even catching 3 touchdowns on offense this year, Jackson was a master of reality out there on the Texas High School battlegrounds, imposing his will off the edge while pushing his teammates to their ultimate, pulling out all the stops as a bravehearted defensive talisman.
Leading Pleasant Grove to dynastic heights during his tenure, winning the state title within JerryWorld during his ravenous freshman year (98 tackles, 11.5 Sacks, 16.5 TFL as a freshman), taking the team to another state title in 2018, grabbing his second championship in three seasons last year as he also brought home the Texas Writer's Defensive Player of the Year; this season, he was dominating opponents, scoring touchdowns on offense more than previous seasons and leading Pleasant Grove's current 6-2 record....before the unthinkable happened.
Dealt a cruel blow during Monday's practice, Jackson has played his last snap on the field for the Hawks, but this doesn't mean his high school career is over....not at all.
As a true captain of this team, Jackson may have his most important role coming up as the Hawks geaux for a 3rd state title and a 4th trip to JerryWorld...a final potential title trip, one in each year of high school for Landon still on the table...and nothing short of that goal will do...more than physical, this test will be mental...and Landon's smashed through every previous hurdle that's come his way.
During the upcoming run, Jackson's impact on the sidelines as an auxiliary coach will be his highest calling in Pleasant Grove's purple and gold....and the world class defensive end is ready to help his team anyway he can.
In spite of the fact Landon "cut all interviews out of his process since his freshman season" he is now talking to LSU ODYSSEY about his past, present and future as a Pleasant Grove warrior, champion, hero & an upcoming Tiger great.
I talked to the consummate teammate and intriguing young man only a day after his sad season-ending injury and found him in unbelievably upbeat spirits with a message he wanted to send...not only to his teammates, but to the football world in general:
Landon Jackson's breathtaking talents are here to stay, no matter what obstacles may fall in Jackson's path, the Texarkana-native has already shown he can conquer all, improving each year as a proud Texan-born Tiger.
And we are proud to see him in purple and gold for a few seasons, beginning in 2021:
LONN: So, Landon, tough break....what happened on the practice field if you don't mind me asking I hate to go there.
LANDON: Lol It's fine I'm comfortable with answering.But it happened before we even started practice and a bunch of us guys were running one on ones. We were just having fun before practice like we normally do, and I was playing receiver and went to run a corner route and when I planted my ankle rolled over and all my weight fell on it.
LONN: When you went down in 2018 & Pleasant Grove STILL went to the title game that year (another good omen), what were the biggest things you can take away from that experience to help you now?
LANDON: Something that I can take from that experience is really that I can still have a big role on this team without playing Because I’m still a leader of the team. I’m basically going to be like another coach out there for the guys and do all I can to make sure they are playing how they need to be playing and making sure that they know what they are doing.
LONN: that's so cool, your defense (depending on the talent of who's behind you at DE) are in a rare position where the team leader and best player is actually a coach, it could be beneficial in a silver linings way which may help you guys take the title again.
What was it like being recruited by LSU? Who first approached you, when and how? I always love these stories
LANDON: LSU has been on me heavy since they first offered. They really showed me how much they wanted me when I was on the visit by constantly just showing me the impact I could make down there and i also really enjoyed it down there.
LONN: Was it Coach Orgeron who first contacted you or watched you play?
LANDON: Yes sir he definitely had a great impact on my decision.
LONN: There's a story about you going to the LSU A&M game where Burrow put on the Burreaux jersey, I said during an appearance on the Mark Rogers show that game probably had an impact on your decision. Did it??
LANDON: Huge impact on my decision, too: the fan base was great and I loved everything about it. Also Coach O was the one that offered but I was in contact with Coach Billy Johnson quite a bit and stayed in touch with there GA Coach LaCouture.
LONN: Were your family ever LSU fans?? Or have any LSU connections?
LANDON: No sir, the connections have always been with A&M because that’s where my dad played, but They both are big LSU fans now.
LONN: So your father went to A&M as well, interesting!
LANDON: Larry Jackson he went to A&M out of high school red shirted first year and tore his acl second year so after that he transferred to McNeese state and finished out there, but he’s still an Aggie at heart
LONN: Wow so your family, through your father, have ties to Lake Charles, Louisiana?!
LANDON: Yes sir he does and my Mom played volleyball there.
LONN: So they met at McNeese??? This is epic! Louisiana will bring some more great memories for your family soon enough. Landon where do you see yourself at this time next year? What are the goals you hope to hit by October 27th 2021?
LANDON: Just be the best I can possibly be at that point and making sure I’m going 100% in the class room and on the field
LONN: Do you see yourself as a Defensive end or more of a linebacker who will rush off the edge?
LANDON: I used to feel like I wanted to be a linebacker that would rush off the edge but I feel like with my build I could put on 20-30 more pounds, get to about 280 and be a true D-end.
LONN:Tommy Moffitt the S/C at LSU is the best in the business. How about this for a statistic: LSU haven't won a national championship (scratching 1958) without Tommy Moffitt as strength & conditioning. They've won 3 and went to 4 WITH him.
LANDON: Yeah I definitely feel like I’ll be in the right hands to get me to the weight I need to be
LONN: What is your favorite moment so far of your Pleasant Grove career ???
LANDON: It would definitely have to be playing in Cowboys Stadium.
LONN: Is that your team the Cowboys?
LANDON: I don't watch to much of the NFL, but if I did they would be.
LONN: How was Tiger Turnout?
LANDON: I was down there with all the guys and I had a really great time getting to know them
LONN: Are you tight with Savion Byrd, Jo Jo Earle, Nuss the other Texas guys?
LANDON: I’m really close with all the Texas guys, and we are working hard to get Savion right now.
LONN: Was there any classic Orgeron story from your recruitment?
LANDON: It was great hearing his enthusiasm through the phone when I told him I’m comin.
LONN: What were the #1 and #2 things which made you commit to LSU most?
LANDON: the #1 thing would definitely have to be the environment. I love everything about it down there the city, the fans, the food, and just the school in general. The #2 thing that made me make my decision would have to be my relationship with the coaches as well as the player I think they can make me.
LONN: Who is your favorite player of all time?
LANDON: My favorite player of all-time would have to be J.J Watt mainly because he’s such a hard worker and earned everything on his own. Nothing was handed to him.
LONN: Who was the most influential person in your life?
LANDON: The most influential person in my life would have to be my mom, and my dad they have done so much for me over the years and really taught me how to be humble through all this and taught me how to be a man.
LONN: What's your favorite kind of music?
LANDON: I listen to all types of music I don’t really have a preferred genre just depends what kind of mood I’m in.
LONN: What is your pregame ritual?
LANDON: My pregame ritual is going home and getting a quick nap in and I don’t listen to music or anything before the game I prefer silence and to incision myself making plays.
LONN: Your favorite hit in your career?
LANDON: From my sophomore year. It was on punt block and the punter dropped the ball and as he was picking it up I made the play.
LONN: On your LSU visit in 2019, what was it like seeing the 2019 team and did you meet any legendary Tigers?
LANDON: it was a great experience when I was there. I loved everything about it the atmosphere was crazy.
LONN: How's your ankle doing today? Last night you said it was "throbbing".
LANDON: It's getting better, my surgery is scheduled for Friday. They said I should be walking in two months, jogging in four and fully back in 8.
LONN: That's great to hear man, we are with you throughout this process. You should expect a lot of love from LSU fans over the next 6-8 months bro! Now I wanted to ask one thing about your freshman season...
As a freshman Landon...this is crazy....you won a state title, first of two, ripped off 98 tackles, 16 TFL, 11.5 Sacks, 6 PD, 3 FF, 1 INT....you came outta the gates screamin' bro.
LANDON: It went great I had a bunch of players on the team showing me the way.
To be Continued????
2017 STATE CHAMPION
2018 RUNNER UP
2019 STATE CHAMPION
-Texas Sports Writers 4A Def. Player of 2019
-MaxPreps 1st Team Junior All-American
6 FR (1 TD Ret)
By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
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