Ellenwood, Ga.--A four-star defensive tackle and one of the top prospects on Auburn’s board, Cedar Grove standout Antwuan Jackson was back on campus over the weekend for his final look at the Tigers and also his final official visit before announcing his commitment on Thursday Dec. 17 between Auburn, Florida and Ohio State.
With his entire family on the visit including his mom, Jackson said it was an important weekend for him because of the family trip and everyone getting to know each other.
“It went great,” Jackson said. “This was my last official of the year. It was great meeting Coach (Rodney) Garner’s family, meeting everyone’s family.
“She (his mom) thought it was a vacation for her,” Jackson added. “It was awesome.”
One of the biggest things in Auburn’s favor for Jackson is having Garner on the staff. Talking to Jackson since his freshman season and building that bond, Garner’s impact could be a big one for Jackson when it’s time to make a decision this week.
“It’s important,” Jackson said of their bond. “He has been wanting me and needing me since I was in the ninth grade. Our bond is closer than ever.”
While Garner and Lance Thompson spent the weekend working hard for the Tigers Coach Gus Malzahn is still searching for Auburn’s next defensive coordinator. That’s something that is important for Jackson, but not the be-all and end-all for his decision.
“Malzahn said he’s going to let us know who it is before he announces it,” Jackson said. “He said he’s going to make sure it’s the right fit for Auburn.
“I have known Auburn for a long time and been there so many times,” he added. “I learn something different every time I come and I just enjoyed myself.”
Because of a lack of depth on the defensive line for the Tigers, Jackson has been a big target for Malzahn and Garner for much of the last two years. He said on his final talk with Malzahn on Sunday that continue to be the message.
“He said he definitely wants me to be a Tiger,” Jackson said. “I’m definitely excited about picking from those schools.”
With the dead period starting on Monday there are just a few hours left for coaches to contact players, something Jackson said he’s expecting from Ohio State and new defensive coordinator Greg Schiano.
Now that his official visits are done and with the dead period quickly approaching the hay is pretty much in the barn for Jackson. With his announcement coming in just a few days he said there are specific things he’s looking for in his future home.’
“The first thing is just talking to my dad, talking to my family,” Jackson said. “Just narrowing down the schools and me loving the community and just seeing myself at the school.”
Jackson said he’ll announce his decision on Thursday in the gym at Cedar Grove at 2:30 p.m.