Ah, high school. For some, it was a magical time filled with prom queen titles, popularity galore, and easy-to-secure 4.0’s. But, let’s be honest, that experience is only shared by, like, 0.0000001% of high schoolers. For the rest, it’s still a magical time, sure, but it is also filled with lots of stress, insecurity, and restlessness.

That said, there is always that one kid who seems to have it all–talent, good looks, and maturity far beyond their years. Take the case of Jackson Dean Nicholson–or as he is known by his stage name Jackson Dean.

Jackson Dean is both a star football player AND an accomplished musician. Back in October, the high schooler, who plays defensive end for his Arundel High School team in Maryland, actually kicked off the night’s game by performing the National Anthem–right before he hit the field.

Before the game commenced, the teenager walked up to a microphone stationed on his high school’s football field and, what came out of his mouth shocked everyone. Jackson Dean’s voice is an incredible mixture of country and blues, and one that’s so mature that it sounds like it would belong well on a vintage honky-tonk record.

After the game (which Arundel won, by the way!), local news outlets hurried to get the story on the uber-talented player. In an interview with the Capital Gazette, the high school senior revealed that he had planned the performance on the down-low, choosing to surprise many of his peers and teachers.

“But that was … it was something people don’t normally get,” Jackson Dean said. “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.”

But, just because Jackson Dean is accomplished in both football and music doesn’t mean he’ll choose both. According to him, his future is in music.

“This is my last year [playing football], then I’m done. I’ve got until January, I’ll have all my credits done, and I only have to be enrolled for this semester,” he said. “I got a waive by my principal and she’s very supportive of what I do.”

“I’m going to go for it,” the football player turned singer added.

Since posting the video last fall, Jackson Dean has garnered quite a lot of attention. He has racked up well over half-a-million views on YouTube, and has he even managed to get the attention of the NFL. You see, on December 30th, the high schooler was invited to perform the National Anthem in front of 82,000 fans during a RedSkin-Eagles game. Unsurprisingly, Jackson Dean KILLED IT, just like he did when he performed in front of his peers.

How’s that for an impressive story? We usually don’t think of high school football players as being Renaissance Men, but Jackson Dean sure is a bonafide one!

Now that you know the incredible story of the defensive end songbird, be sure to watch his viral rendition of the National Anthem for yourself. If his performance doesn’t send shivers up your spine, it’s probably time that you check your pulse!

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts on Jackson Dean’s rendition of the National Anthem! Do you think his performance was worth all this hype? Will he be a famous recording artist one day? Do you know of any other multi-talented football players?