Signing Day: Jackson headed to USC

February 1, 2017 by Jose Garcia, AZPreps365

Austin Jackson stayed true to himself.

He did it throughout high school while sticking through the ups and downs of North Canyon’s football program. So when Jackson picked USC Wednesday as his next football destination, the California native continued to pursue the same principled path he laid out in high school.

“I want to continue the legacy,” said Jackson about why he picked the Trojans.

The state’s top recruit’s grandfather played at USC.

Jackson will head to ‘SC with another stout incoming freshman from Arizona, Isaiah Pola-Mao of Mountain Pointe. They will join forces with a highly sought after Arizona recruit in last year’s senior class, Connor Murphy.

North Canyon's Austin Jackson is interviewed after selecting USC as his next football destination. Photo by Jose Garcia/


Jackson’s mom, Lavonna Buckhanan, escorted her son to North Canyon’s gym floor during the school’s Signing Day ceremony.

“This is exhilarating for me,” she said. “I can’t see him pack his bags and leave just yet. But the grocery list will get lighter.”

The 6-5, 290-pound Jackson is rated as one of the nation’s top offensive lineman.

In other big news that Signing Day delivered, Saguaro’s Jared Poplawski decided to go to with Colorado instead of Arizona State, and Andrew Nichols of Centennial committed to Columbia University.

Centennial's Andrew Nichols announced he is heading to Columbia. Photo by Jose Garcia/ 


Schools were recruiting Nichols for his grades as well as his talents at tight end and defensive end. A coaching change at ASU led Poplawski to flip and pick Colorado.

Nichols and about 25 high school seniors attended the 5th annual College Signing Day event at Majerle’s Sports Grill Desert Ridge, hosted by the National Football Foundation Valley of the Sun Chapter. 

Verrado quarterback Maverick Gamez is one of the players who attended Wednesday's Signing Day ceremony at Majerle’s Sports Grill Desert Ridge. He committed to Arizona Christian University. Longtime Arizona sports broadcaster Kevin McCabe was the event's MC. Photo by Jose Garcia/