Notre Dame Football Evaluating Speedster Jackson Gleeson

Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; General view of Notre Dame Stadium as Notre Dame Fighting Irish players take the field against the Southern California Trojans tat Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 17, 2015; South Bend, IN, USA; General view of Notre Dame Stadium as Notre Dame Fighting Irish players take the field against the Southern California Trojans tat Notre Dame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Jackson Gleeson has been busy burning defensive backs in Class 6A Texas high school football matchups. He’s gained the attention of Notre Dame staff.

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Jackson Gleeson has elite speed and is certainly one of the fastest junior receivers in the nation. His high school, Mansfield (Paulsen Adebo’s school) plays in a talent-heavy division in Class 6A Texas high school football where talented defensive backs struggle to cover him.

Gleeson also puts his eye-popping speed on display during Texas high school track meets. He’s received several accolades from track championships. “I was All-State and All-American in track. I got second in state last year in track (200m),” explained Gleeson.

Gleeson’s speed, which translates to his play at the wide receiver position, has caught the eye of Notre Dame staff. “I’ve talked to them,” mentioned the 6’2, 165-pound burner. “They said they will watch my film and then continue to talk to me.”

Jackson mentioned Notre Dame’s interest is more than mutual. “My uncle went to college there and I love watching them play. They seem like they have a great coaching staff,” expressed Gleeson. “ND would definitely be a top choice for me if I was to get an offer from them.”

The speedy receiver told me that having family near South Bend would make it easier for him to visit and attend if he were to go to Notre Dame. “My uncle still lives around ND so it would be an easy place to go,” added Gleeson.

I asked Gleeson what his football and track-related testing times were. “My 40 is 4.3 but I haven’t done my shuttle since freshman year,” he replied. “Track, I ran 10.38 (100m) and 21.14 (200m).”

As Gleeson understands that academics will play a large role in his recruitment, he added, “my GPA is 3.7.”

Jackson explained that he’s looking for a balanced program that will help him on the field and in the classroom. “Just looking for the best school for me academic and athletic-wise,” added Gleeson who is looking into studying sports management and/or sports marketing in college.

Gleeson’s combination of strong academics and impressive athleticism have landed him 8 offers, including strong programs in Baylor, Missouri, and Nebraska. The consensus within recruiting services is that he’s a top 100 player in the state of Texas from the class of 2018.

I asked Gleeson if he sees himself possibly playing in the slot or at wide receiver at the college level. “Most likely wideout because of my speed on the outside but I could see them moving me in and out,” he explained. “I would prefer (to play) outside and I play outside in high school.”

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In 2016, Gleeson caught 17 passes for 428 yards and 4 touchdowns, good enough for 25.2 yards per reception, per MaxPreps. He explained that he doesn’t get a lot of opportunities to make plays due to Mansfield’s offensive scheme.

“We’re a run-heavy offense, like 80-20 run to pass, so there’s limited pass opportunities to go around,” mentioned Gleeson. I asked him if he believes he would have had big-time numbers if he were playing in a more pass oriented offense. “I believe so,” he replied.

After taking a close look at Mansfield’s numbers, I believe Gleeson is in for a much more significant year on the stat sheet in 2017.

Other than him, the returning receivers combined for only 5 receptions for 60 yards last year. Also, last year’s senior running back, Kennedy Brooks, will be taking his 2,600+ yards to Oklahoma to suit up for Bob Stoops. Jackson should be Mansfield’s big-play option during his senior campaign.

I asked Gleeson if he would consider visiting Notre Dame if they offered him a scholarship in the future. “Yes, I would be very very interested and it would be in the summer,” answered Gleeson. “Notre Dame is a dream offer. ND has a great education and a great football program.”

Notre Dame could potentially lose soon-to-be junior receiver Equanimeous St. Brown to the NFL Draft after the upcoming season. They also landed only one true wide receiver in the 2017 recruiting class, Jafar Armstrong and Louisiana receiver Michael Young will be playing in the slot.

That said, the Irish will be looking to add at least two more receivers in this class. Gleeson certainly has the game breaking speed that Brian Kelly craves.

With a strong summer of working on his receiving skills and if he puts together a productive senior season, Gleeson could land an offer from Notre Dame which would immediately put them near or at the top of his list.