It might be overstating things to say Georgia State just acquired the key weapon to defeat Alabama this season. But the fledgling football program probably just took a significant step forward.
Star Jackson, the Crimson Tide quarterback who had been considering transferring to the first-year Panthers, apparently has finalized plans to do just that. The Mobile (Ala.) Press-Register reported that Jackson was in Atlanta this weekend looking for an apartment and will enroll at Georgia State.
“He got his release [from Alabama] and everything,” Errick Lowe, Jackson’s former Lake Worth, Fla., high school, said.
Georgia State will start playing football this season. But because the school is not yet an official NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision team, Jackson is not required to sit out a season and can play immediately.
Easily the Panthers’ highest profile game next season will be in Tuscaloosa Nov. 20 against the defending BCS champion Crimson Tide. Georgia State’s coach, Bill Curry, is a former Alabama coach. One of his assistants, defensive backs coach Anthony Midget, was on the Lake Worth staff when Jackson played there.
Jackson, who played five games last season as a redshirt freshman, is leaving Alabama because of a lack of playing time. He was No. 3 on Alabama’s depth chart after spring football, behind Greg McElroy and A.J. McCarron. But No. 3 at Alabama could easily be No. 1 at Georgia State. The 6-3, 209-pound Jackson threw for 3,500 yards and 32 touchdowns in high school and was rated as the nation’s No. 11 quarterback, according to Scout.com.
Team-wise, he goes from the nation’s No. 1 team to one that has yet to play a game.