Football season is here and most of the boys of fall are back on the gridiron. However, one youth player in the Kansas City area is unable to join his teammates.
Brandon Jackson, a 12-year-old in the seventh grade, cannot find a helmet. In turn, he cannot play.
Jackson is considerably bigger than most kids his age, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing more than 300 pounds. Again, he is only 12 years old.
Because of his massive frame, Jackson needs a 2X helmet, which is an adult size and extremely hard to come by. In addition, there is a severe nationwide helmet shortage.
Supply chain issues are causing football coaches to scramble for helmets.
Coaches on all levels of the game across the country have been asking for help finding the helmets that they need. Many of them are trading (or trying to) their excess inventory in exchange for more specific sizes.
In Jackson's case, the 28-inch helmet that he needs may need to be custom made. That could cost up to $1,000 — a number that a youth football team likely does not have laying around.
With his God-given size, the sky is the limit for Jackson's potential. He has a very, very long way to go before he can even consider his collegiate decision, but the Kansas-native is well on his way to playing D-I ball.
But, as of right now, Brandon Jackson can't get on the field.
“He’s worked so hard in practice, day in and day out, being able to keep up conditioning. I’d hate to see him not be able to play because of something as simple as a helmet,” head coach Dustin Cundiff told Fox4.
Custom making a helmet for Jackson is an option, but it is the last resort. It is expensive and it could take some time.
If Jackson is going to get on the field sooner than later, he will likely need one of the local college or professional teams to help out and get him a helmet that fits. Older models won't work because it needs to meet safety standards.
In an effort to try and get Jackson on the field, someone who knows a thing or two about being a large human is trying to help out. Kansas City Chiefs tackle Orlando Brown Jr., who is 6-foot-8, 363 pounds as a 28-year-old, said that he has been in Jackson's position before and wants to get the local 12-year-old a proper lid.
As of right now, Jackson cannot suit up, but the wheels are in motion. He is likely not the only youth or high school player in this position, due to the ongoing helmet shortage, but help is (hopefully) on the way.
Anyone who is interested or able to be of assistance can reach out to Jackson's team via the Northland Revolution website.