Visit seals the deal for Jackson

One of the surprises within Alabama's recruiting class of 2014 to this point was the flip of JUCO offensive lineman Dominick Jackson to 'Bama after being committed to UCLA for less than three weeks. He hadn't even been to Tuscaloosa when the decision went public in late June. But that can't be said after this week as the four-star finally took in Tuscaloosa.

Most elite prospects reflect on their initial visit to Alabama as "great" or something synonymous because of the recent tradition and reputation the football program has under Nick Saban.

But when four-star College of San Mateo (Calif.) offensive lineman and UA commitment Dominick Jackson visited, he added anger to his reflection of Tuscaloosa.

"Mad I had to leave," he told Bamamag.com with a laugh after visiting for just over a day.

The elite offensive lineman seems as solid as can be after spending time with the coaching staff, office staff and perhaps most importantly the academic support staff.

"The resource building and academic building by the cafeteria and dorms stood out because it showed how much they really care about their athletes," said Jackson, though he added that he was impressed with just about everything he experienced. "The new faculties were excellent, loved it all, but the academic stuff really stood out to me because schools never used to talk about academics, just football and when Alabama showed me the academic resources I knew this was a school for me.

"That's mostly what they talked about academics, academics, academics and then they talked about football; pretty much telling me that without academics football is nothing which is true. But after academics I would have to say the weight room and their staff stood out."

After the trip, there was a particular phrase the 6-foot-7, 315-pound specimen repeated in his conversation with Bamamag.

"I am going to The University of Alabama," he said. "My recruiting is done. I already know were I'm going, I just have to focus on The academics at my junior-college and this season coming up.

"And the weight room they have at the University of Alabama is a factory to build elite players."

The staff kept things honest with Jackson from the beginning of their recruitment of him and it held true in person as well.

"Real upfront," he described. "Pretty much told me if you're not willing to put in the hard work, Alabama isn't the place for you -- that's when I knew that Alabama was for me because they're all about doing it the right way the first time and not cutting corners."

Leading the way with Jackson on the trip from the staff was also his lead recruiter, Mario Cristobal.

"What I love about Coach Cristobal is that he just wants to see his players succeed on and off the field and after they succeed their senior year, they're walking across the stage getting the diploma," he said. "The relationship me and Coach have is unbreakable."

So will another school even get consideration from Jackson at this point? His answer may seem familiar.

"No, I have made my decision, the University of Alabama is where Dominick Jackson will be playing his last two years or three years," he said. "Because now I can just focus on school at my junior college in this upcoming season.

"After everything is said and done, I know where I'm going, to the University of Alabama."


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