Football player brings crowd to silence singing National Anthem when no one else would
He knew a recording of the song wouldn't do it justice so he stepped up to honor our flag in the best way he knew how. And it turns out he's pretty good at it, too.
Kevin Chen

Every big event always starts with paying respect to the flag, including high school football games.

But what if no one sings?

Some events will just use a recording so the show can go on. But at this high school football game, there was one student who cannot and will not allow that to happen.

YouTube - Jackson Dean
YouTube - Jackson Dean

Jackson Dean Nicholson was a high school football player at Arundell High School in Gambrills, Maryland, and believed playing a recording of the US National Anthem would not do it justice.

So, he removed his helmet, grabbed his guitar, and stepped up to sing the Star-Spangled Banner live in front of his school.

And he did it well.

YouTube - Jackson Dean
YouTube - Jackson Dean

He definitely did the national anthem justice with his smooth, country-style voice.

He enjoyed performing as well.

YouTube - Jackson Dean
YouTube - Jackson Dean

“It was very cool,” Jackson Dean shared. “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.”

And everyone who watched him was astounded by his performance. Who knew this football player can sing so well?

Jackson loves music.

He may have grown up working in his family’s construction business but he also grew up in the woods near his home, where he learned to play music.

“I spent more time there than I did with other humans, really,” Jackson Dean told Billboard. “There was a gap between me and my siblings so I was by myself a lot. Pops was working and mom was ‘el presidente’ of the company so she was working payroll and keeping the books. I was a little country kid, just worked my whole life and played all the sports.”

He’s been writing and singing songs since he was a high school freshman. He even recorded a few tracks for his album by the time he was a high school senior.

Only his second performance.

That impromptu performance was the second time he’s performed in front of a football crowd.

“I’m not really nervous when I have to sing in front of people. First five times you do it, the butterflies just go away. It’s all good after that,” Jackson Dean admitted. “We knew we were going to videotape it, and I think I was more anxious about that.”

Well, it’s a good thing he stepped up and didn’t let the butterflies get to him.

It lead to bigger things.

That video was uploaded to YouTube where it became a viral hit and got him an appearance on The Steve Harvey Show.

Since then, music executives have been banging on his door to sign him.

But what about high school?

“This is my last year, 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,” Jackson Dean shared. “I got a waive by my principal and she’s very supportive of what I do. I’m going to go for it.”

Even his football coach has supported his dreams.

“We support it as much as we can, and he does a good job managing it between football and that,” Coach Walsh said. “How do you tell an 18-year-old not to chase his dreams?”

And his family is very supportive.

His dad was the one who pushed him to perform live at the age of 14 at a local bar.

“My dad was in the back of the room and that was one of the first moments I watched him stand there and cry,” Jackson Dean recalled.

Since his viral performance, Jackson Dean signed with the record label, Big Machine Label Group, which released his debut full-length major-label album, the 10-song collection, Greenbroke.

YouTube - Jackson Dean
YouTube - Jackson Dean

Hear the husky country voice that got him where he is in the video below!

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By Kevin Chen
Kevin Chen is a senior writer at Shareably. Kevin is based in San Francisco and can be reached at