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Drake Jackson says top program stopped recruiting him because UK was considered a loser

That program missed out.

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Practice Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky four-year starter Drake Jackson committed to his home-state Cats, despite offers from several of the nation’s powerhouse programs.

The four-star recruit’s final list included Ohio State, Alabama and Tennessee. Other schools to offer included Florida, Mississippi State and Penn State.

However, it appears another big-name program was in the mix until they found out Kentucky was a school Jackson was strongly considering.

“This was when I was getting recruited before I had many offers, but I had Kentucky already,” Jackson explained while appearing on Kentucky Sports Radio. And he said, ‘Son before I recruit you, I want to know if you’re going to consider playing at Kentucky.’ I said, ‘Of course, I grew up there.’ He said, ‘Well I can’t recruit you then.’ I said, ‘Why not?’ He said, ‘Because if you’re considering playing at Kentucky, it means you have a loser mentality and I can’t recruit losers in my program.’”

That statement from the recruiter ended up wrong on several levels. Jackson, who signed on with UK in 2016 was a part of bowl games in each of his four years with the Cats, won three, helped block for the program’s eventual all-time leading rusher (Benny Snell Jr.) and was the captain of an offensive line ranked among the nation’s best three of his four years as a starter.

Individually, Jackson earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2019 and 2020 and was an All-America Honorable Mention in 2020. Now, he’s projected to be selected in the middle rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft that may see a record amount of former Wildcats selected.

Sounds like a winning resume for Jackson and UK when you take all of those honors into account.