One of the headliners of Alabama's class of 2014 is the top junior college offensive lineman in the country, Dominick Jackson. The five-star College of San Mateo (Calif.) standout took his official visit to Tuscaloosa over the weekend and had several of his questions and curiosities about the program answered soon after.
"I felt like I was back at home at my JC (junior college), we're like family oriented. It's a brotherhood type deal, and I got that family feel on my official visit," he said. "It made the bond I have with certain coaches a little deeper and it built bonds with new coaches. The relationship with me and Nick Saban grew even stronger. I talked to him once on an unofficial, more when he came to my school last week, but when I was on my official it was great.
"We talked, got to speak with him at dinner with him and his wife. I also had a lot to say to him at breakfast the next morning. I feel like I got to speak to him the most out of the majority of the recruits."
Learning new information and processing it was the goal of the visit for the top offensive tackle. Alabama comes with plenty of hype, and his 48 hours there met his expectations.
"The whole visit was about that information, making sure what they've been selling is true," Jackson said. "It's true. They keep on you about grades, send players to the NFL, focus on the degree, the kind of football stuff they run. It's something I'll never forget, especially since I'm only taking that one official visit."
Jackson (right) pictured with Lane Kiffin (photo provided).
With his recruitment admittedly "all the way done" after the visit, Jackson is focusing on the other side of the coin -- Academics.
"I want to major in criminal justice and hopefully become a probation officer one day," he said. "I met with the CJ (criminal justice) department for almost two and a half hours. We talked about the classes if I was to come.
"He kept saying ‘if I was to come, if I was to come' and I finally had to tell him, ‘I'm coming!'" he continued. "I wanted to know what I have to take. He let me know what I needed to be more prepared and more ahead of others now-a-days, because it's a competitive program."
Part of Saban's message to the 6-foot-7, 315-pounder was along the same lines in order for him to be eligible to transfer to Alabama over the summer.
"Pretty much just pass all my classes," he said. "My core GPA has been pretty high, above the 2.5 rule. They enforced that new rule at the end of my freshman year, but I'm cool as long as I get at least Cs in the rest of my classes.
"The biggest thing is finishing the classes, they were telling me to finish strong in the classroom and to make sure I'm in the best running shape of my life when I get there."
The physical expectation for Jackson is to come in and compete along the offensive line right away.
"They said they're not going to hand it to me, I have to earn it. I respect that," Jackson said. "There's high standards, but if I can compete with someone who has already been here, with guys who know the system, I'm going to do what I can and hopefully make it."
Saban's "process" is said to trickle down to his players, and it was reflected all weekend to the sophomore by a current Alabama freshman.
"Jonathan Allen was my host," he said. "He was cool, he was honest. He told me not to come here if I wasn't ready to work. I like that."
Jackson has no additional visits planned and added that he's simply waiting for national signing day (February 5) in order for "my phone to stop blowing up."
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