The couple of vacations Dylan Jackson has squeezed into his summer break have been rather well-earned endeavors.
After all, Jackson, the reigning Class 6A state champion, Mr. Football finalist and All-State University of Tennessee commitment, notches seven dedicated workout sessions each week and then uses his spare time --- what spare time? --- to help aide the Vols' peer recruiting efforts in the 2015 class.
"Really, all I'm doing is working out here at Maryville in the weight room four times a week and working out at Next Level with Devin Driscoll," said the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Jackson. "Coach (Brandon) Waters here at Maryville and Devin in Knoxville are doing a great job for me, and we're getting better. They're getting me better. …
"It's fun being able to recruit these guys, getting to know them and building relationships. We want to have a really good team when we get on campus so that we can build a championship program when we get there, and we need the guys to do it."
Jackson shows his dedication to winning, Waters explained to VolQuest.com, through his unrelenting approach.
"Dylan is a relentless worker when it comes to training," said Waters, a standout offensive lineman at Tennessee Tech who also previously worked as a graduate assistant in Tennessee's strength program. "His work ethic and ability has given him a chance to be a great high school football player, and a chance to do great things at the University of Tennessee. Coach Jones will love having Dylan Jackson on his squad."
Jackson long has been a central, though perhaps not as public, figure in Tennessee's self-labeled 'Dream '15' class. He's ratcheted matters up in recent weeks, taking his sales pitch to known Vols' targets into daily communication.
"I talk to at least one of [the commitments] every day. I talked to Zach (Stewart, four-star offensive line commitment from nearby Coalfield0 this morning.We actually have a mass text, a big group with basically all of the commits in it," Jackson explained. "Every now and then, someone starts that up and we have a big conversation.
"We've got 13 or 14 guys that are a part of that group text."
Accustomed to winning at the highest levels --- he owns two state crowns in his first three years of high school and flatly states that's his lone goal for his 2014 senior campaign at Maryville, Jackson and the core of the Vols' current recruits, particularly in-state, want to arrive on Rocky Top with the program moving in a clear direction.
"That helps us with the in-state recruiting a lot," Jackson said of the bond he shares with Stewart, four-star OL Jack Jones and, more recently, Kyle Oliver and even Jauan Jennings. "Last year they had most of the top-10 guys in the state commit to us, Tennessee, so that's helping a lot with the in-state guys and helping us get them on board."
In his training regimen, Jackson is dialing in to both get stronger and faster. He owns an electronic 4.67 40-yard dash from this spring, but he wants more. He's also pushing his squat to 500 pounds and bench press to 385.
"Four times here at school, Monday through Thursday, we all work out. And three times (weekly) in Knoxville," said Jackson, 6-foot-6, 245 pounds. "It's not that bad. I do a lot of speed stuff here at school, do weight training here and there every other day. I'm trying to get a lot faster than I have been. I'm hoping to improve in that aspect.
"Squatting's been a huge deal, and my 40 has improved a bunch from last year to now. My pro agility are better; I'm working on that to get quicker."
And while his mother saves all of his recruiting mailers, including plenty from Alabama and Stanford who both offered this spring, Jackson is working the phone lines for his future school Tennessee while preparing for the Rebels' state title defense that begins with pre-season practice July 21.
"They're great programs; a lot of prestige at both schools," Jackson said of the 'Bama and Stanford offers. "It feels good and helps build the confidence. It's just nice getting those offers.
"But win a state championship. That's all I care about right now. That's all we want."