By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
MOORE — Jackson Stallings has never been shy about standing out. Whether it’s his play on the field or the way he dresses, the Southmoore senior has his own way of doing things.
That trait came to the forefront again when Stallings announced what school he will be playing football for next year. Instead of going to a football factory, the 6-foot-2, 225-pound tight end on Monday committed to play football at Yale University.
“To a certain extent, that was a factor,” Stallings said. “There are literally a handful of Oklahoma kids in the Ivy’s and that makes the decision for me to go to Yale that much more special for me.”
The versatile tight end had offers from Citadel, Penn, Lehigh, South Dakota, Lafayette, Air Force Academy and Harvard. Stallings didn’t settle on the Bulldogs until returning from visiting AFA on Jan. 11.
“Yale just felt like the best place for me to succeed. It is an amazing place that holds incredible opportunities for me on and off the field,” Stallings said. “Yale allows me to develop the most as a student, athlete and spiritually as well.”
When the recruiting process started, Stallings was leaning toward the Air Force. But as he looked more into the requirements, he saw he would have some limitations.
“I had the opportunity to go to Air Force, but due to my colorblindness, I couldn’t fly,” Stallings said. “I felt that would hinder my experience there.”
Stallings finished his senior year with the SaberCats with 21 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns. He reached the end zone another three times running the ball.
For his career, he had 70 catches, 15 touchdowns and 1,289 yards. He also racked up 105 tackles and eight sacks on defense.
But the most important number Stallings has is his 4.1 GPA. Even though the Ivy League does compete in Division I, they are not allowed to give athletic scholarships. Athletes can get financial aid, but they must still pass the same educational standards as regular students just to be admitted.
“My family was relieved that the process was over,” Stallings said. “My parents are very happy and proud of the choice to go to Yale. My sister and her husband are decked out in Bulldog gear already. It’s special for all of us.”
National Signing Day for football is Feb. 4.
“Signing day will be the sum of my works at Southmoore,” Stallings said. “With the coaching staff there for me, knowing certain coaches truly invested in my potential, along with having my father there; it will be a happy ending and a start of a bright beginning.”
Follow me @eyeamtruth
For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.