Ex-Saline star Josh Jackson says he's transferring from Virginia Tech

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Quarterback Josh Jackson, a former Saline standout, played 1 games over two seasons at Virginia Tech.

Let the Josh Jackson Sweepstakes begin.

Jackson, the former all-state quarterback at Saline, announced on Twitter Wednesday that he would leave Virginia Tech and enter the NCAA transfer portal.

"... After much thought, consideration and discussion with my family," Jackson tweeted, "we think it'd be best for me to pursue my academic and football career elsewhere. It will be an honor to receive a degree from Virginia Tech and I will forever be a Hokie and cherish my time spent in Blacksburg."

Jackson proved, when healthy, he could play at a high level as a dual-threat quarterback, throwing for 2,991 yards and 20 TDs with nine interceptions as a redshirt freshman while leading the Hokies to a 9-4 record in 2017. In the season-opening 31-24 win over West Virginia, he threw for 235 yards and a TD and rushed for 101 and another score.

With Jackson returning, the Hokies were ranked No. 20 in the Associated Press preseason poll, but Jackson suffered a season-ending injury in Week 3 and they finished 6-7.

As a graduate transfer, Jackson would be eligible to play in 2019.

Jackson and his father, former Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson, did not immediately respond to messages. But Saline head coach Joe Palka said Josh Jackson visited him last week and discussed his plans to transfer.

“He accelerated his ability to graduate early this spring to give him the ability to explore his options,” Palka said. “Once you graduate (early), it’s like free agency in the NFL.

“Josh wants to see who is interested in him. He’ll know a lot more in the next few weeks. I just got a call from Utah yesterday showing their interest in him. Utah recruited him before he decided on Virginia Tech.

“Josh didn’t say a lot about Bowling Green, but I know that’s another option for him. I know he has a lot of respect for Scot Loeffler (new head coach at Bowling Green). Scot recruited him while he was at Virginia Tech (as offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach). Scot and Fred Jackson coached together at Michigan (under Lloyd Carr).”

Jackson was recruited by Loeffler while Frank Beamer was Virginia Tech head coach. Jackson played for Justin Fuente after Beamer retired.

“I told Josh I’d support him whatever he decides to do,” said Palka of Jackson, who led Saline to the Division 1 state championship game in 2014 at Ford Field, a 33-25 loss to Clarkston.

Loeffler will try to turn around a Bowling Green program that has fallen on hard times. Bowling Green won the MAC title in 2015 under Dino Babers, who moved on to Syracuse, and the Orange finished No. 15 this past season.

Mike Jinks couldn’t keep things rolling at Bowling Green and was fired this past October after a loss to Western Michigan put him a 7-24.

Palka thinks Jackson could help Loeffler push Bowling Green in the right direction.

“It’s nice to be in his position, graduating this spring and having options,” said Palka.

Jackson is one of at least four players in the past several days to announce their intentions of transferring from Virginia Tech, joining tight end Chris Cunningham, wide receiver Eric Kumah, and running back Deshawn McClease.