football Edit

PONY UP! SMU gets long-awaited commitment from DE Braylen Jackson

The Mustangs added more muscle to its 2021 class as Mansfield Lake Ridge defensive end Braylen Jackson committed on Friday.

For months, SMU has kept the interest of Mansfield, Texas, defensive end Braylen Jackson. And for months, the Mustangs have battled a group of Power 5 programs in landing the three-star talent.

Friday afternoon, SMU's perseverance finally paid off, as Jackson verbally committed to the Mustangs. Jackson, who has 27 offers, became SMU's 16th commit of the 2021 recruiting class.

"I’m feeling great!" Jackson told The HillTopics on Friday. "Ready to start the next chapter of my life."

A 6-4, 270-pound defensive end from Lake Ridge High School, Jackson chose SMU over Arizona State, Colorado and a host of other Power 5 programs. He was recruited to SMU by defensive line coach Randall Joyner.

"SMU is a great program, and they have a great coaching staff," Jackson told The HillTopics earlier this year. "I love their campus."

SMU was the second school to offer Jackson, behind Arizona State. The relationship with Joyner and the rest of the coaching staff, coupled with the idea of playing competitive football close to home, was something too good for Jackson to pass up.

His commitment means SMU now has four defensive ends committed in the 2021 class. Jackson joins Flower Mound's Stone Eby, Pasadena Sam Rayburn's Je'lin Samuels and Dallas Parish Episcopal's Jayden Jones as defensive line pledges.