During the past year, Evan Jackson rushed for more than 1,200 yards on the football field, released his first hip-hop mixtape, and started an impromptu clothing line.
And by the way, he is heading to an Ivy League school in the fall with hopes of a career in either finance or law.
The multitalented Jesuit senior admitted that his graduation on May 27 will cap a whirlwind year of unexpected success.
Jackson was the leading rusher as the Rangers won a District 9-6A title, scoring 16 touchdowns after becoming a focal point of the offense after an early season injury to quarterback Jacob Palisch.
“I was in the right place at the right time. After he went down, it became pretty apparent that we were going to start leaning on the run,” Jackson said. “I didn’t expect beforehand to have such a big season, because I didn’t get much playing time during my junior year.”
As Jackson became a workhorse earning district MVP honors and Jesuit rolled off eight consecutive wins, college coaches took notice. One of the schools interested was Brown University, which Jackson visited in November during a weekend tour of Ivy League campuses.
“After we started playing in district I started getting a lot more offers,” Jackson said. “After I visited, it became apparent that Brown was the place for me.”
Two years ago, Jackson was “messing around” with some friends when they decided to record some hip-hop tracks. That led to a mixtape called “Stay Woke”, which has found thousands of listeners online. Jackson also has a couple of music videos on YouTube.
When the mixtape dropped during football season, Jackson simultaneously launched a line of shirts and hats to promote it. The merchandise became so popular the first shipment sold out within days.
“I wouldn’t even consider myself a rapper. Rapping wasn’t going to get me to college,” he said. “It’s cool to know a lot of people are listening to what you’re doing.”
Jackson’s recent internship at a private equity firm has him interested in a job in the financial sector. Or maybe he’ll attend law school to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ray, who’s the managing partner of his own Dallas firm.
“I don’t know what the future holds. I like to surprise people and break from the stereotypes. I just go with the flow.”
For now, his focus is on getting ready for his freshman year at Brown, both on the field and in the classroom.