ST. PETERSBURG — As the first person in his immediate family to attend college, Gibbs defensive end Tim Jackson will be setting the bar awfully high.
On Friday, he committed to North Carolina.
The school not only is regarded as one of the country's best academically, but its football program isn't too shabby, either. Surrounded by family and friends inside the library at Gibbs, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound standout chose the Tar Heels over Mississippi State and Wake Forest.
"It's a strong fit," Jackson said.
Jackson, a three-year starter, also had offers from Iowa State, Kentucky, Ole Miss, South Florida, Stanford and Vanderbilt.
Rivals.com rates him as a three-star prospect.
Jackson is known as a pass rush specialist who possesses a quick burst off the edge, making him difficult for opposing offensive tackles to handle.
He carries a 3.7 grade point average.
On its list of America's top universities, U.S. News & World Report has UNC ranked No. 28, a fact not lost on Jackson's parents, Al, a truck driver, and Cassandra, a middle school teacher's aide.
"What we wanted was for our children to have it better than we did," Cassandra Jackson said.
North Carolina went 8-5 last season.