The 2024 class is among the most talent-filled class we've seen in some time at Youth1. From stellar prospects at the skill positions, to bruisers that shine in the trenches, this year's Elite101 Rankings is brimming with talented athletes worthy of recognition.
One position that deserves some real attention for its impact on the game is the Linebacker position. Among the most impressive 2024 prospects is LB Kari Jackson, who came in at #38 on our Elite101 Rankings.
"I was very surprised, honored, humbled and thankful. I know that Youth1 is a highly respected organization," Jackson told Youth1.com.
"It is very encouraging to be recognized as a top player in the 2024 class. Hard work truly pays off and your gifts and talents will make room for you. My football journey is just getting started. This means that I am not better than anyone else and no one else is better than me. This means that I have a lot more work to do in order to reach my goals of playing high level football in college and beyond," he added.
Jackson is the type of athlete that is always motivated to push himself for more. He's a hard worker that has earned every accolade that has come his way. Being named to the Elite101 is only going to fuel his fire and motivate him to strive for more.
"Yes, this serves as huge motivation for me on and off the field. In the classroom and in the gym. I am going to keep praying and asking God to give me the strength I need to continue to prove myself as one of the top athletes in the country," Jackson said.
"To be honest, the bar I set for myself is always high in all that I do. So I was grateful to be ranked, but being the competitor that I am, I always strive to be the greatest. I do not take anything for granted, I have not arrived and I will keep working," he added.
Jackson is an absolute standout on the football field. He's a do-it-all Linebacker that prides himself on leading the defense on every down. He's bruising, physical, and wrecks havoc on the opposition.
He knows what his strengths are, and plays up to them.
"Playing physical and causing chaos all over the field, pre-snap play recognition, changing the line of scrimmage, knocking ball carriers and blockers off their feet, calling plays and making adjustments on the field," Jackson said.
"I still have not reached my full potential and there is a lot more in store," he continued.
Standing at 6'0" 225, Jackson has outstanding size for the Linebacker position, especially for an 8th grader. He's a man among boys, and plays with a motor that never quits. Jackson is relentless once the ball is snapped, as he hunts down the ball often stuffing plays in the backfield. He's a tough-nose tackler that makes you feel him on every hit.
He also excels in pass coverage, using his supreme instincts to read the Quarterback and make a play on the ball.
More often than not, Jackson is going to be in the right spot to make a big play.
"Destroying opponents, making big plays, winning championships and helping the country see that Michigan football players can ball," Jackson said.
"I love being the leader of our defense. Also, I love opening holes for my teammates so they can make plays on offense," he added.
Jackson has worked hard to be where he is now and his progression has been off the charts.
"I feel that I am progressing extremely well as Linebacker who was a DT. The game has slowed down for me and I am seeing plays develop in advance while trusting my instincts. I am growing as a leader helping my teammates become better players," Jackson said.
The Bloomfield Hills, MI native most recently played for the Southfield Falcons and West 7 Rams. To no one's surprise, Jackson is playing a major role in his team to success.
"My season is going great. I am healthy and my team is undefeated. My team is now on our way through our regional playoffs. The goal right now is to win the Division 1 Unlimited AYF 13u National Championship in Orlando, Florida in December," he said.
Here's a look at some of his recent stats and accolades:
Under Armour Next All American
UA Next Game 2020
2 time, The Process All American (Defensive MVP award)
2 time DMAXX All American (Defensive MVP Awards)
7-time team Defensive MVP
Top 2024 Player in Michigan (M.E.T. Agency)
City, State, Regional and National Champion
Ranked #4 13u team in the country (Generation Nexxt)
14u state champions as a 13u team
As he strives to take his game to the next level, Jackson has some areas of his game he'd like to improve. He plans to work on his technique and his leadership abilities, among other things.
"Overall speed, film study, pass coverage, pursuit angles, signal calling, open field tackling," he said.
LB Kari Jackson is a rising star from the 2024 class. Being named to Youth1's Elite101 is a great accomplishment for him. His humble and hard-working nature have served him well so far, and he doesn't plan on changing anytime soon.
"I thank God, my family, coaches and all of my amazing teammates. I am a Christian, a 4.0 student and a team captain. I have a great family, great coaches and an amazing support system. This is my first year playing middle linebacker," Jackson said.
"I have my life and football goals typed and taped on a wall in my room. I always strive to be the best I can be in any and everything that I do. Football is my passion."
To view the entire Elite101, please click -> here.
For more on Kari Jackson, check out his Twitter account -> here.
View his highlights below.
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