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NC State commit Savion Jackson had to grow up quickly for his family

August 8, 2018

Savion Jackson made headlines this summer when he committed to NC State, joining a talented in-state recruiting class from the Class of 2019.

At 6-foot-3 and 260 pounds, Jackson is a strong player. The four-star defensive end is a leader on the Clayton High School football team where he recorded 56 tackles and eight sacks as a junior last season.

But strength and leadership is something Jackson has demonstrated off the field for a long time.

“There were times when I was crying and, as a little boy, he would have to wipe my tears,” Savion’s mother, Renada Jackson, said.

Savion was a witness to domestic abuse. His mother and her family were not safe in their own home.

“My ex-husband ended up being an abuser,” she explained, adding that Savion gave her the courage to leave.

Renada took her family to a shelter. That’s when Savion became the man of the house.

“He couldn’t explain it as a kid – he just knew something wasn’t right,” said Renada. “He said, ‘Mom, God’s gonna take daddy’s heart out and give him a new heart.’”

Savion became an important figure for his siblings.

“I have brothers and sisters, and I have to show them the difference between wrong and right,” he said. “I just want to help in any way possible.”

The No. 2 player in the state from the Class of 2019 took on roles that most siblings never have to, but he didn’t make it known to everyone. Even his coaches were unaware.

“One Friday night we had an away game and we came back. As coaches we decided to breakdown film, so we decided to get some pizzas,” recalled Clayton football assistant coach Paul Yates. “When I walked in, Savion Jackson was working after hours.”

Most every day, Savion showed up at a pizza restaurant where he held a late-night job. Everything he made in each paycheck went back to his family to help support his mom and siblings.

“All he wanted to do was make it easy,” Renada said.

All of Savion’s hard work has paid off for him and his family. One of the top players in his class, he had numerous scholarship offers from schools like Alabama, Clemson and others. But his love for his family is what pushed him to make his decision to commit to NC State.

″(The other schools) weren’t interacting with my family, my brothers and sisters,” he said. “NC State gave me a good vibe. All the coaches were very outgoing and able to talk with my whole family and make them laugh.”

Renada says she couldn’t be more proud of her oldest son.

“Sometimes I sit in my quiet time and take it all in. It’s still like – wow,” she said. “I remember the struggle and to be without, and now to be here – I can only give God the glory.”

Before Savion dresses up in the red and white, he’ll have one more season in blue. Clayton will look to defend its conference championship a year ago as the season starts on Aug. 17 at Garner.

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