The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

The student news site of Smithson Valley High School in Spring Branch, Texas

Valley Ventana

Valley Ventana’s weekly Connections game: Week of April 22. Photo via Canva
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April 22, 2024
Junior Sayers Allen poses for a photo at the golf region competition on April 17. Photo via SVHS Golf.
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In Comal school district, 22.0% of students are eligible to participate in the federal free and reduced price meal program, making the federal nutrition program a necessity. Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash.
Texas should adopt federal nutrition program
Bethany Mann, Editor-in-Chief • April 18, 2024
Olivia Fuentes will play beach volleyball at Tarleton University in the fall after signing on April 17.
Photo by Daniel Grant
Toe the sign
Alex Whelchel, Managing Editor • April 18, 2024

Entering Longhorn Nation: Senior Jackson Duffey commits to UT Austin

Senior+Jackson+Duffey+signs+his+letter+of+intent+with+the+University+of+Texas+at+Austin+on+Feb.+7.
Bethany Mann
Senior Jackson Duffey signs his letter of intent with the University of Texas at Austin on Feb. 7.

Senior Jackson Duffey grew up watching the University of Texas football games with his dad. Now, his dad will watch the games alone – because Jackson will be on the field.

The third year varsity wide receiver and cornerback inked his commitment with UT on Wednesday to further his football career.

“We’re all super proud of him, and it couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” offensive coordinator and recruiting coach Glenn Hill said. “It happened kind of organically, and it was so cool to see it unfold that way.”

Daniel Grant
Senior Jackson Duffey lines up at the line of scrimmage during the state championship game on Dec. 15.

Over Christmas break, UT’s recruiting coordinator was watching the football team’s games and noticed Jackson’s game changing plays. From there, the university reached out to Jackson and offered him a preferred walk-on.

“I was shocked,” Jackson said. “I had some interest from other schools, but nothing like UT, so I didn’t really expect it. It’s kind of a dream come true.”

Jackson also received offers from Colorado School of Mines, San Diego University and Trinity University, but it was ultimately his decision to play for UT. 

“We are huge UT fans and always will be, but we would have been all in on whatever team Jackson chose,” Jackson’s mom Corri Corey said. “Lucky for us Texas wants him to play, and Jackson has committed to doing so. Now we just enjoy watching Jackson play and keep cheering for the Longhorns.”

Jackson started playing tackle football in third grade and immediately had a passion for the sport.

Daniel Grant
Senior Jackson Duffey watches from the sidelines at the state championship game on Dec. 15.

“I love football,” he said. “It’s somewhere where nothing matters. You just get to be yourself and play a game that you loved as a kid.”

Inside the locker room, Jackson is an important leader of the football team. After moving in his freshman year, Jackson made an impact on his teammates.

“He’s always one of the first people here in the training room, making sure he’s ready,” senior quarterback Ryland Walker said. “He takes film seriously, and he’s very well respected as a person.”

On the field, Jackson was a key player for the team on both offense and defense.

“He is extremely multifaceted,” Hill said. “He plays a lot of positions for us. Obviously, he spends a lot of time on defense, but he’s able, with pretty limited practice time, to function as an elite player on offense as well.”

Jackson is one of two seniors that will play for UT this fall, with wide receiver Freddie Dubose signing with the Longhorns in December. Additionally, defensive end Trey Moore, a 2021 graduate, recently transferred from the University of Texas at San Antonio to UT Austin and will play for the football team.

Daniel Grant
Senior Jackson Duffey runs to tackle an Aledo player at the state championship on Dec. 15.

“Three players at Texas is pretty wild because UT is a premier school,” Hill said. “We also have one at (Texas) A&M, so next year when Texas and A&M play each other and that rivalry gets renewed, it’ll be really cool to see four Smithson Valley guys out there.”

Jackson will play cornerback and safety for the Longhorns and will leave in early June to start training with the team, but not everyone is ready to see him go.

“I would like for him to come back to high school and play for one more year, selfishly, but I know he’s gonna go there and take advantage of the opportunity,” Hill said. “I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s making an impact there in a year or two.”

Although the football team isn’t quite ready to see him go, Corey believes he is ready to take on this new chapter of his life.

“Jackson can accomplish pretty much anything he sets his mind to,” she said. “He’s brilliant, hardworking and dedicated. I have no doubt that the Longhorn Nation will be proud to have Jackson on the team and that he will be a positive impact for them on the field. Hook ‘em.”

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