Flashback: High School Senior Goes Viral, Sings Incredible Rendition of National Anthem Before Taking Field


Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re re-posting it here in case you missed it.

Jackson Dean Nicholson, a senior defensive end at Arundel High School in Maryland, is earning rave reviews for his performance in front of his home fans last Friday — so much so that many believe he has a chance to have a very successful pro career.

But it’s not his performance as a player that has people buzzing about future stardom.

Nicholson wowed the home crowd — and thousands on social media — with his spectacular pregame rendition of the national anthem.

Nicholson, dressed in his uniform, stood before the microphone with an acoustic guitar in his hand and sang one of the best versions of the song you’ll ever hear.

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And it has gone viral.

Since it was posted on social media last Friday, it has gotten thousands of views of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, and has even been picked up by some country radio stations.

“It was very cool. I probably knew 90 percent of the people sitting in those stands, and they had no idea I was doing it ‘til I brought my guitar out,” Nicholson told the Baltimore Sun.

Music isn’t just a hobby for Nicholson, it’s his passion and what he plans to do with his life. He’s been writing and singing songs since he was a freshman and he’s recorded several tracks as he works on an album.

His stage name is Jackson Dean because, well, there’s already a pretty famous guy named Jack Nicholson.

“This is my last year, then I’m done,” he told the Sun, talking about his football career. “I’ve got until January, I’ll have all my credits done, and I only have to be enrolled for this semester. I got a waiver by my principal and she’s very supportive of what I do.

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“I’m going to go for it,” said Nicholson.

By go for it, he means he’s heading to Nashville to officially launch his music career. He told the Sun’s Katherine Fominykh that he already has a few meetings set up that he can’t disclose.

After this performance, he just might find himself in even more demand.

Remember the name, Jackson Dean.

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Dave is a lifelong sports fan who has been writing for The Wildcard since 2017. He has been a writer for more than 20 years for a variety of publications.
Dave has been writing about sports for The Wildcard since 2017. He's been a reporter and editor for over 20 years, covering everything from sports to financial news. In addition to writing for The Wildcard, Dave has covered mutual funds for Pensions and Investments, meetings and conventions, money market funds, personal finance, associations, and he currently covers financial regulations and the energy sector for Macallan Communications. He has won awards for both news and sports reporting.
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