It’s official: QB Star Jackson inks with Georgia State (updated)

Star Jackson, who left a quarterback competition at Alabama, will encounter another one at Georgia State (Photo by Larry Hauck/

Star Jackson, who left a quarterback competition at Alabama, will encounter another one at Georgia State (Photo by Larry Hauck/

Georgia State’s fledgling football program now has its first star.

Quarterback Star Jackson, a much-ballyhooed recruit out of Lake Worth, Fla., signed a financial aid agreement with the Panthers on Thursday.  A backup on Alabama’s national championship team, the 6-foot-3, 209-pound signal-caller arrives at the downtown Atlanta university with three years of eligibility remaining. Since Georgia State’s first-year program competes in the Football Championship Subdivision — one level down from the Southeastern Conferences of the world — NCAA transfer rules allow him to be immediately eligible to compete.

“I’m relieved, more relaxed,” Jackson said shortly after Georgia State released the news of transfer late Thursday afternoon. “It’s a great situation.”

Jackson, a four-star prospect who was recruited by virtually every school in the South out of Lake Worth High School, could have transferred almost anywhere. He was asked why he chose State, a program playing its first season of football.

“Well, one, I have a coach in Coach [Anthony] Midget who knows me and is going to be there for me,” Jackson said. “There are some players there I played with, like [running back] Roosevelt Watson. And just the fact that its a new program. I like that its starting from scratch. We both are.”

Jackson never quite lived up to his lofty billing at Alabama. He lost the quarterback competition to starter Greg McElroy and had fallen to No. 3 on the Crimson Tide’s depth chart behind redshirt freshman A.J. McCarron toward the end of last year’s championship season. Alabama has since sent another high-profile prospect into the competition in Phillip Sims.

Jackson appeared in five games as a redshirt freshman. He completed 13 of 18 passes for 113 yards.

“Alabama is always going to be the same to me,” Jackson said. “I have no hard feelings whatsoever. I learned so much while I was there. I will still be rooting for Alabama when I watch them play on TV.”

Of course, he won’t be rooting for the Tide when Georgia State plays them in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 20 this fall.

Meanwhile, Jackson enters a very sensitive situation with the Panthers. They already had three redshirt freshmen quarterbacks on the roster — Drew Little, Kelton Hill and Bo Schlechter — all of whom had been waged in heated competition for the better part of a year. Now comes the new guy.

“I haven’t yet but I’m looking forward to meeting them,” Jackson said. “They’re all younger guys. Hopefully I can teach them some things and learn from them.” rated Jackson No. 11 quarterback in the nation and the No. 70 player in the Southeast coming out of Lake Worth High School. The 2007 U.S. Army All-American had 1,677 yards passing and 13 touchdowns as a senior and finsihed his high school career with more than 3,500 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. Head coach Bill Curry made it clear that Jackson will not be handed the starting job.

“I told him he would have to work hard and earn it,” Curry said. “Star responded exactly the way I would hope. He told me, ‘Coach, I want to do whatever it takes to help you build the program.’”

54 comments Add your comment


June 3rd, 2010
5:48 pm

Good for him and Coach Curry. Should help them both. First?


June 3rd, 2010
5:51 pm

Jarvis Jones is next!


June 3rd, 2010
6:04 pm

Want care about this til the Fall


June 3rd, 2010
6:39 pm

Bill Curry is a good man but not a good coach

Frank Lane

June 3rd, 2010
6:47 pm

I hope Bill is just as successful as was Erk Russell. Big job because Russell was a great coach, the best at UGA ever, (He was the great coach, not Dooley), a champion at Grady, and unbelievable at Georgia Southern. But I still wish the best for Curry. I would love to see GA State as the second best team in the state after the Dawgs.


June 3rd, 2010
6:58 pm

I”m sure the weaklings “Mutt Nation” will have them on their schedule come 2011! Another losing season for you dawg piles!


June 3rd, 2010
7:07 pm

I wish State the best. Tough time to get a program going.

Danny G

June 3rd, 2010
7:07 pm

Losing season? When was the last time Ga. had a losing season? Also, how many times has Tech beat Georgia in the last 9 years? You must of actually gone to Tech, Big Tech Fan, because you know nothing about Football.


June 3rd, 2010
7:15 pm

Why the word “fledgling” when describing the Georgia State program? What’s fledgling about it to this point?

Vick=Dog killing Thug

June 3rd, 2010
7:15 pm

I think its a excellent time to get a program going. Plenty of in-state talent to go after. Certainly GS might not attract the blue chip SEC type players but I bet they pick a few plums up here and there?

Might save a few good athletes from going to bug land and getting mugged. I can see GS and GT being a good rivalry.


June 3rd, 2010
7:24 pm

Frank Lane,

I played for Erk at Georgia Southern and i can testify that he was indeed a great coach and great man. He was the heart behind UGA not Dooley. Erk just made you think that you were better than you were. He made you think that he held some magic that made you invincible and that you could beat anybody. He has to be the best motivator ever. There is no doubt in my mind that he would have won big time at the division 1 level.

san diego dawg

June 3rd, 2010
7:59 pm

How cool is this! It will be a long road for GSU but one super star to build on will go a long way. You have to be a moron like big tech fan to not root for GSU while they get their program going.


June 3rd, 2010
8:00 pm

I can’t wait to see Georgia State beat Georgia Tech in football. It should be very soon if Tech is not too afraid to play them.


June 3rd, 2010
8:09 pm

My dad played for Erk when he coached Grady High School. Said he was a mean SOB.


June 3rd, 2010
8:15 pm

To be an upstart program, GSU has done an outstanding job of landing good talent. Give them another 7 or 8 years and they will be competing with and possibly upsetting mid-tier/decent FBS programs! It’s an exciting time to be a GSU student or alumni. Best of luck panthers!

1980 Dawg

June 3rd, 2010
8:54 pm

I hope GSU goes undefeated! Best of luck to you GSU!

Special K

June 3rd, 2010
9:04 pm

Hate to see him leave BAMA but good luck to him. He wants playing time and you can’t blame him for that. He had a great attitude at BAMA. Ga St. is getting a good kid. ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!


June 3rd, 2010
9:07 pm

another update: GA safety Brian Randolph down to UT and Ga. Tech after cutting down a very impressive list. I think it’s going to be GT but I’d love for him to pick UT. We’re in on some other quality corners and safeties so we’ll see what happens. He’s a great player and fine young man.

Go Vols


June 3rd, 2010
9:42 pm

Lake Worth Florida is over 60 miles from Miami with Ft Lauderdale in between the two, and West Palm Beach just to the north. That’s like saying that Bogart is in Metro Atlanta even though it’s just outside of Athens.

Can’t wait to see those state Geography scores!

Urban's Husband

June 3rd, 2010
10:07 pm

It won’t be long before GA State will be a top 25 team and evenually a D1 team who is a top 25 team. After that, they will be the best team in the city of Atlanta. Sorry nerds from North Avenue!!! Ha ha ha! Go Dawgs!!! But seriously, they will be a great program. :-)


June 3rd, 2010
11:05 pm

Got some Ga puppies commenting that are real rednecks! Best of luck Ga State. Won’t be long before you beat the mighty (he-he} bullppups!


June 3rd, 2010
11:24 pm

This is exactly how Saban gets an advantage over his competition. He signed six more players last year than he had room for under the NCAA rules and then ran off the guys that he didn’t want around to get the new guys in. The NCAA needs to do something about making Saban honor the scholarship contracts the players sign. There is such a thing as ethics and morality that Saban is lacking.


June 4th, 2010
12:45 am

So far GSU has six FBS transfers (Alabama, GA Tech, UCF and Ball State) plus four JUCOs that had FBS offers from PAC-10, Big 12, Big East and SEC programs. It’s a great time to be a Panther!!! Georgia State Panther fans, join us at for more discussion.

Drexel Gal

June 4th, 2010
1:54 am

Are you SERIOUS? He wants to leave a NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP team, in one of the most STORIED programs in history, to play for a FIRST-YEAR team that actually has a coach named … (WAIT FOR IT!) … “MIDGET”??? Tell me I have drunk one too many Molsons!


June 4th, 2010
2:19 am

Drexel Gal..

2 problems…one you go to Drexel, or are some how affiliated with Drexel…

Two…you’re drinking Canadian beer.

Your posting right have been revoked.

UGA owns you tasty bees..

June 4th, 2010
2:58 am

lol I can’t wait until five or six years from now, when those techies get run right outta the dome by the mighty panthers.. It will be the birthing of a great rivalry in the ATL, and UGA will still have those tasty bees as their cupcake game at the end of the season, kinda nice to have a tune-up game before the SECCG and/or Bowl game (For you whiney techies, that’s the last game on your schedule every year that you can’t seem to ever win, that follows the last game of your regular season that you hardly ever win) Go Dawgs, and Go Panthers!


June 4th, 2010
7:46 am

This is a story about GSU, but you morons have to start with the “Y’all suck” stuff. Good grief! Best of luck to GSU. Their start has little to do with UGa or GT…..for now.


June 4th, 2010
8:24 am

Flo-ri-duh, Have to agree with you, although alot of teams sign alot more than they are allowed, Saban does seem to do it on a regular basis, but if it is working for him, maybe the other programs should also…don’t know if he is running them off or not, some of the players are going to be lost because of grades and other things, but there does seem to be a pattern with Saban..Of course it may just be the perception that he is actually doing this as i have no knowledge that this indeed is his intent….


June 4th, 2010
8:55 am

How about some props for a fairly new program up in Rome? Shorter (now University) Shorter will be the team that Georgia State plays in their first game. Shorter has had some very successful years and a conference championship in 2008. Coach Phil Jones has done a great job of building this program. The AJC has completely ignored it. Maybe when the Hawks come down to Atl and hand GS a whipping in that first game they will get a little notice.


June 4th, 2010
9:15 am


Shorter is located nearly 70 miles North of the city of Atlanta. That’s like covering Mercer athletics. Georgia State is located in the city of Atlanta. It’s campus is walking distance from the AJC HQ. Georgia State has more than 100,000 alum in the city of Atlanta metro area.

You can have your props for victories over NAIA competition but Georgia State has higher aspirations. See you in 90 days!

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 4th, 2010
9:54 am

How cool is this? Go State!! Your cross city Insititue is rooting for you.

ps…most of the people making this into a UGA v Tech thing are really really lame…Let GS have their own identity, don’t try to color it with Good Old Fashion Hatred… Seriously grow up and support your state programs.

Chris Eagle

June 4th, 2010
10:54 am

I can’t wait until Georgia Southern and Georgia State compete against one another in football. Then we will see who the **REAL** GSU is… Go Eagles!
But, in the meanwhile, I wish you Panthers lots of luck.


June 4th, 2010
11:07 am

It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come and we’re getting a glimpse at where we’re going. Star you’re going to enjoy GSU and Atlanta.


June 5th, 2010
12:36 pm

@Chris Eagle.. I’m a proud GSU alum and you have it right. I would love to see Ga. Southern and Ga State battle it out on the field. I know my eagles will come out on top!!

Tokyo jacket

June 5th, 2010
4:32 pm

I wasn’t a Tech fan (or graduate) during the Bill Curry days. For all the talk of how he cannot coach, he sure is building an infant program very quickly!


June 6th, 2010
7:44 am




June 6th, 2010
12:05 pm

Walt….your dad played for Erk at Grady and the only thing he had to say was “he was a mean SOB? Like they say “one man’s sh_t is another man’s ice cream”


June 6th, 2010
11:02 pm

We will definitely see in 90 days. Shorter returns a good group who have been through some wars unlike GSU. Have fun stopping that offense too. I was being nice but since you started it, it will suck to lose to an NAIA school and have to play the D1 Nat. Champions later on. How do you fire your team up for UA when you lost to a school with 1200 students?

The REAL GSU: Georgia State University

June 7th, 2010
1:00 am

To all of you Georgia Southern Fans, do me a favor and go to this url: Now does that web address bring you to the mighty home of the STD eagles of Statesboring??? Oh, and just f.y.i.- Georgia State became a university in 1969. Georgia Southern in 1990. Oh, the power of a Georgia Southern degree never ceases to amaze me…


June 7th, 2010
10:46 am

My daughter will be a freshman and GA state and I can’t wait to attend that first game. Go Panthers!


June 7th, 2010
10:15 pm

As a life long dawg fan and a GSU alum, I am ready to see this program get off the ground. GO Cats and Dawgs!!

GA St. Post??

June 8th, 2010
1:54 pm

To BIG TECH FAN…find a post that cares about your frivolous banter…This is not about the NERDS!! Go join a NERD blog and leave GA ST. out of it. Get over it already!

Kris G

June 8th, 2010
9:09 pm

It’ll be nice to have a respectable college football team in Atlanta.


August 5th, 2010
7:02 pm

They have “wars” in the NAIA? HAHAHAHAHA!!!!


August 5th, 2010
7:58 pm

At the least, GSU has a “name” to kick things off. And the statement by Curry “will not be handed the job”, is completely false. He was lured by Alabama. In Div 2, the talent within may only require weaker competition to evolve.

Not the last time we hear of Mr. Jackson.


August 5th, 2010
8:01 pm

As for him leaving Alabama, the mistake may be on Saban for allowing so.

SJ will be the starting QB at GSU

From the ATL, Gonna Give 'em HELL!!

August 10th, 2010
11:42 am

Hey, Chip, send my thanks to whoever for adding that Countdown to Shorter clock!! Now we just need more articles and more and larger pictures on this section of the Sports Page!! GO STATE!!!

gaga "& # 8 4 8 2 ;"

August 16th, 2010
10:44 am

Enter your comments here

Old Gold

August 16th, 2010
9:36 pm


August 17th, 2010
2:46 am

i played with the kid in high school. stars a pretty good kid never got in trouble but you cant blame him for wanting to play. id rather go 7-5 then ride the pine every year on a national championship team. the kid your really need to look out for though is his teamate, rosevelt watson jr. kid is a beast. i’ve never seen someone work so hard after he left the d2 school he was at. Star and Rosevelt will be a good 1, 2 combo together once again.