Jackson Raves Over ASU Visit

Diante Jackson admits that recruiting has its peaks and valleys. The constant communication from college coaches has been wearing thin on him at times. On the other hand, the recruiting process does have its perks in the form of official visits, and the WR's trip to Tempe, as he told Devils Digest, was a tremendous experience and one that caused him to move up his timetable for a decision.

"I loved everything about it," said the 6-3 205 Diante Jackson. "It was great. Everyone said how hot it would be there, but it really didn't feel that hot. I liked all the people I met, the players were all nice and one thing I was real surprised about is that when I was walking up to my seats Amare Stoudemire walked past me and that was just off the hook."

"After the game the players showed me a good time. It might have been better if they won, but it's all right because I still had a lot of fun."

Jackson, who hails from Walnut Creek (Calif.), was also taken back by the appearance of the ASU campus.

"To be honest I didn't expect it to be that nice," he acknowledged. "People were telling me that I was gonna see a lot of desert and that there's nothing there, and it was a complete opposite. It was very nice, there were a lot of new buildings, and the new dorm rooms were just incredible. I didn't know this visit would be so much fun and I really had a great time."

The Las Lomas High School standout was hosted by Mike Jones and was quickly impressed by the senior wide receiver's character. "I loved hanging out with him – he's the man," Jackson stated. "He wears #1 and I like that. I thought he was gonna be a really quiet dude, but he was lots of fun and a real down to earth person. He kept it real with me and told me everything I needed to know about the team. I almost saw him as a big brother."

Jackson added that one topic of conversation with Jones, albeit on the speculative side, was how both wide receivers will do in the NFL one day and how can a team's system prepare you for the professional level. "ASU does run a pro offense," Jackson remarked, "so that obviously helps."

The wide receiver thought that despite the Arizona State loss to Georgia that the Sun Devils played well. "They have a lot of young players on their offensive line and they'll get better next year," Jackson noted. "That's good for a wide receiver like me who wants the quarterback to have time to throw you the ball."

In a previous interview to Devils Digest Jackson stated how much he was looking forward to meeting ASU's wide receivers coach Eric Yarber and judging by Jackson's comments spending time with Yarber was certainly worth the wait. "I loved sitting down and talking to him," said Jackson. "Mike Jones told me that he's the best wide receivers coach he ever had and that he really helped him get better. After talking to Coach Yarber I can see why Mike said that this is the most fun he ever had playing football."

"Obviously talking to Coach Christian who's recruiting me was cool, and Coach Erickson is one of my favorite coaches in the country."

Jackson indicated that because of his experience in Tempe, he would like to visit Colorado (which he previously visited unofficially) for their game against Texas on Oct. 4th so he can compare the game day atmosphere to that of the Sun Devils, as well as Oregon who he officially visited on August 30th, which will help him make a decision sooner rather than later.

"Those are probably the only three schools I'm gonna decide between," he stated. "I'm not gonna take anymore official visits after Colorado. I think I may wanna go down to the CaliforniaColorado State game just because it's like 25 minutes from my house. It's not an official visit, I just wanna check out the game. Cal is in my backyard and I just don't want to take them out of the picture in case something happens with the other schools. But I feel that for four years of my life I want to leave home and see different things, but you never know."

If nothing else, Jackson's schedule for making his verbal commitment is now clearer than ever to him.

"I want to make my decision before the season is over," he affirmed. "I need to get that stress out of my mind about where I'm gonna commit to, so I can be a teenager again. Recruiting has been stressful because everyone wants to know where you're gonna go, and people telling you ‘you should go here, you go there.' Everybody gives you advice even though they don't see it like I do through my eyes."

"In the end it's my decision."

The grind of the recruiting process reminds Jackson that football will be more of a business at the college level and even more so at the Pro level if he should get to play there. "On the weekends I just want to have fun and hang out with my friends," he commented, "and you have all these coaches calling, and I just want to leave that business stuff alone on the weekends. I'm gonna be in the football business for the rest of my life and you get only one time to be a teenager."

As it stands now, the wide receiver claimed that no one program has a decisive edge over the other two. "I don't like to put out any rankings of schools because my mind changes a lot," he explained. "I really have to know what I'm doing before I say who's my favorite and after I come back from Colorado then I'll really know."

"I can tell you that Arizona State and Colorado have some similarities. It's obviously not the weather, but it's being 25 minutes from Scottsdale or Denver and there's a lot more things to do there than at Oregon. My coach says that it's really not good for me to have a lot of things to do and I should just stay in my room and play my video games (laughs). But you also don't wanna be stuck somewhere not being able to do anything. So that does gives Arizona State and Colorado some edge over Oregon, but I like Oregon's academics better than the other two."

As a junior, Jackson hauled in 65 catches for 1,283 yards and 19 TDs. He had 17 receptions and 260 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the final two playoff games. He earned First Team All-Bay Area honors, second team All-Metro, and second team All-State.

The Knights went 13-1 in 2007, and are currently 2-1 in the 2008 season.


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