It’s not often that West Virginia and Texas Tech will find themselves recruiting the same players – at least not at the high school level – but that was the case for Red Raider linebacker Branden Jackson. A McKeesport (PA) native, the sophomore defender chose Texas Tech, but had plenty of positive things to say about the Mountaineers.
Jackson is a McKeesport native.
“Yeah, West Virginia recruited me. Class act,” he said. “I love the program. Love what they have. But I came to Tech.”
In fact, Jackson is looking at this weekend’s game as a bit of a homecoming for himself, playing so close to home and in a stadium that he visited so many times as a youth.
“I've been to Morgantown many times. It's about 30, maybe 40 minutes away,” said Jackson. “It's nothing but a hop, skip and a drive down the road. I just heard you guys say that it's homecoming. That's pretty cool, because that's my homecoming. First time I get to play in front of my family, so I'm excited.”
One aspect of the game he is not looking forward to, though, is the Mountaineer student section.
“They're going to be rude. I think our student section gets pretty loud and they're always into the game. But West Virginia, their student section is ridiculous,” he said. “It's going to be like having an extra player on their offense with them right there behind you. They'll do the research. They'll know our dog's name, our best friend's name and what gets under our skin.”
His experience at Mountaineer Field allowed him to preview the game for his fellow Red Raider teammates, and his response surely got a laugh out of the reporters on Monday.
“I told them they're going to smell beer from the time we get off the plane to the time we hit the stadium,” said Jackson. “The fans are going to be loud; they're going to be rude; they're going to be crazy. But it's going to make for a great atmosphere. I think they've got one of the best days of playing on the road. It's going to be a testament to our team. It's really going to test us.”