How Georgia football landed 6-foot-11, 325-pound pro basketball player

Kirby Smart’s offensive line is beefing up with a 6-foot-11, 325-pound basketball star out of Overtime Elite.

Jahzare Jackson — who played with Bronny James on the AAU circuit — has committed to Georgia after switching his focus to football, he confirmed on social media.

The 20-year-old explained that he fell in love with the Bulldogs coaching staff in an interview with Overtime Elite, and he bought into Smart’s plan to develop his skills in Athens.

Jahzare Jackson has committed to Georgia.
Jahzare Jackson has committed to Georgia. Jahzare Jackson/Instagram

“Why UGA? Shoot, I fell in love with the coaches, I fell in love with the school, the players were welcoming me when I got there, and I’m still in Georgia too at the end of the day,” Jackson said. “I feel like that was a big thing for me, still being able to be in Georgia. I just felt like when I got there it was home for real.”

There was one part of Smart’s pitch that got Jackson hooked.

“He’s got these laminated papers… they’ve got the whole list of who got drafted in the past year, and the players that got drafted from Georgia are in red, and the rest are in black,” Jackson said, recalling a conversation with Smart during a visit to Georgia. “He kind of was just showing me like, ‘Hey, son, we got five dudes that went in the league in the first round,’ and was kind of just explaining to me like, ‘You stay here for two years, you’re going to develop your first year and then you’re gonna start your second year.’

“He was saying like, ‘I can’t stop you from going to the league. You’re gonna get a good grade and have the potential to go to the league,’ and then also like let me know he was gonna get on me, he was going to be on me, he was going to coach me hard and he wasn’t going to treat me no differently from any other of his players. I appreciated that.”

Jackson has shifted from basketball to football.
Jackson has shifted from basketball to football. Jahzare Jackson/TikTok

Jackson, who is a three-time champion at the OTE level, reportedly chose Georgia over Florida, Florida State and Mississippi State.

The San Diego native played Pop Warner football in elementary school and at the middle school level, including as the only eighth grader on the varsity team at Westminster Christian Academy in south Florida, according to The Athletic. He played left tackle, defensive end and some tight end.

As he started to grow taller, he gravitated more towards basketball.

Jackson also played with Alexandre Sarr at OTE before the Frenchman became the No. 2 overall pick by the Wizards in the NBA Draft last month.

While Jackson wasn’t selected to the NBA, he received offers to play in Greece and Spain, and in the G League, per The Athletic.

“I feel like when I was playing basketball I was aggressive so just being able to fully embrace that and actually just be able to be aggressive fully for real, I feel like that’s going to be nothing for me,” he said. “I feel like I’m going to love that and enjoy being able to be dominant on a regular basis like at all times.”

Jackson has been training at the offensive line position since he switched his focus to football.

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