"I have one in my mind that I'm pretty sure I'm going to," Jackson says of his college choice, "but I have a trip to one (West Virginia). You have to visit and you have to take everything into perspective. You have to take everything like location, people, who you're going to be around. You're going to get an education wherever you go because it's college. I just have to take everything into mind and make a decision for myself and my family.
"I have my mind made up right now," he adds, "but you have to make sure because you could go somewhere and be like, ‘Wow! This is great!' Then you have to take those two or those three and just be like, ‘What's best for me?'"
Jackson drew an offer from Auburn following a camp on July 14 after working with offensive coordinator Al Borges. He also took a trip to Tuscaloosa and worked with the Crimson Tide's offensive coordinator, Major Applewhite.
"He's a lot younger (than Borges) and he's played the position," Jackson says of the difference between the two. "He played at Texas. He played big-time football and he bred a quarterback like Vince Young, a running quarterback like myself that can throw. So he's more eye to eye.
"It was high-tempo-ed with everyone moving around from station to station and coaches getting things done," he continues. "It's just like that in the (Alabama) program."
With a pretty good idea of where he's going to commit, Jackson says that it was a lengthy process trying to make the right decision.
"Where am I at? Are they local? How do they take football? Is football No. 1 or is it No. 2? And just the people--the coaches. Who am I going to be around? I'm going to be around these people for four years, but I understand that coaching is a business. People that are there your freshman year aren't going to be there your senior year. Stability, and like the coach at my high school is like a father to me. I want to go somewhere that I have someone to look up to and that understands me. And I understand him as a coach and as a person," Jackson explains.
Jackson caught Borges' eye at an Auburn camp this summer.
With Auburn, Jackson says he likes the work Borges did in the 2004 undefeated season with Jason Campbell, who was a first-round NFL selection.
"They're one-third of my list, but you have to take them into perspective because you had Campbell there," Jackson says. "I just try to look at people who were my type of quarterback--if they've had that in the past and the coach has worked with that kind of player. You just can't go to a coach who hasn't worked with your type of quarterback--I don't care what anybody says. Some offensive coaches are prone to have a certain kind of quarterback. I've got it down to three that can work with those kinds of quarterbacks."
Applewhite, in his only season as an offensive coordinator, coached athletic QB Chase Clement at Rice last season and West Virginia coach Rich Rodriguez has a history of producing passers who are also fleet-footed like Shawn King at Tulane, Woody Dantzler at Clemson and most recently Pat White at WVU. Borges also did a n excellent job with Campbell in their one season together. However, Jackson, the No. 9-rated QB in the country, when asked if he had a similar style to White explained that he doesn't want to be stereotyped because of his athleticism.
"As quarterbacks we don't like to be labeled," Jackson says. "I've talked with a lot of quarterbacks and Pat White would probably be behind us, too. We don't like to be labeled as quarterbacks. I don't like to be called a pocket quarterback and I don't like to be called a scrambling quarterback. You do things that happen in the game with how the game unfolds.
"Sometimes you can't stand in the pocket and deliver balls, and you have to get out of there and run. But there are times when you can sit in the pocket, make a pump this way, and throw the ball deep, hit a hitch or check down to your back. It sucks to be labeled. I don't like how they label quarterbacks and it's kind of degrading to quarterbacks. Joe Montana was probably one of the greatest pocket quarterbacks ever, but he could also scramble.
"The game is changing," he continues. "Linebackers are running 4.4s and linemen are in the fours now so you have to be able to move a little bit, but you still have to be able to read coverages and make throws."
Jackson adds of West Virginia, "It's a great offense and you see it every Saturday night or Thursday night. They're just a very potent offense and they dominate. They can go down the field running the ball."
Jackson also went to the Super 11 camp this summer and says that he learned some things in California that can carry over to the field in his senior season at Lake Worth.
"We had a thing called ‘Chalk Talk' were we learned coverages, we learned how to beat every coverage and how to find keys and weaknesses in defenses.
"Practice is going great," he notes. "We've been conditioned from the summer so we are in good shape. In our offense we've put so much in in the last couple of weeks that I'm kind of surprised that we got it done. But we got it in from options to play-action to the quick game, so we've got a lot of weapons out there. We're going to spread them out and we're going to pound the ball. It's been great. I've been throwing the ball well, but I could be throwing it a little better."