Times Elite 8 No. 8: Evangel’s Kody Jackson ‘plays football like his hair is on fire’

Jimmy Watson
Shreveport Times

If only Kody Jackson weren’t such an outstanding student, an incredible athlete and so darn lovable you’d want him babysitting your kids. Then, maybe then, we could find something not to like about the young man who calls the Evangel Christian Academy athletic fields his home.

A 4.0 student in honors classes, Jackson has never missed a school day in 11 years starting from his kindergarten days at New Life Academy off the Meriweather Road in Shreveport. Never in his five years at Evangel. Never, ever.

“And there have been opportunities to do so,” claims his mother, Kim Jackson. “Like the time he wanted to go to the All-Star game in New Orleans. But he would have had to miss some school to go, so he decided against it.”

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The Shreveport Times Elite 8 athlete Kody Jackson of Evangel Christian Academy, photographed on July 23, 2022.

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That kind of devotion to off-the-field endeavors have made Jackson No. 8 on the Shreveport Times Elite 8 list of top football recruits for 2023. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defensive back has football offers from Louisiana and Louisiana-Lafayette, and has taken visits for baseball to Rice and others. He recently committed to ULL in football.

Jackson is the baby of the family that includes two much older sisters, Zoe Pearl and Jasmine, who didn’t compete in traditional sports. Kody has opened a brave new world of watching athletic events for his parents who attend football, baseball and basketball games almost year around.

“Kody plays so many sports, he doesn’t have much time for anything else,” Kim said. “If he’s not playing it, he’s watching it on TV or reading.”

Earning respect from his teammates comes easily for the charismatic Jackson.

“Kody is one heck of a ball player who puts his heart and soul into every play,” Evangel quarterback Peyton Fulghum said. “He truly leads by example on and off the field. He’s dedicated to his craft.”

Evangel football coach Denny Duron has seen plenty of college level talent traverse his school over the years and believes Jackson is one of the best defensive players the school has had. Playing mostly free safety, Jackson is the fastest Eagle and a dangerous return man.

“Kody has a nose for the ball and is a highly skilled football player who plays like his hair is on fire,” Duron said. “He has great ball skills. When it’s in the air, he believes it belongs to him.”

Although Jackson began competing in sports when he was 4 years old, he gave up football during his elementary years. He picked the sport back up two years ago as a sophomore.

“His father and I never had any idea football recruiting would take off like it has for Kody,” Kim said. “We had invested so much in baseball because that seemed to be his best sport. Now, I think he’s 50/50 with football.”

Jackson visited Rice baseball a couple of weeks ago and liked what he saw. Although he’s uncommitted in either sport, he’ll attend the Preseason Baseball Factory All-American event Jan. 13-15 in Arizona. 

Here’s hoping that falls during a break in the Evangel schedule so the perfect attendance record stays intact.

Jimmy Watson covers Shreveport-Bossier area sports. Email him at jwatson@shreveporttimes.com and follow him on Twitter @JimmyWatson6.