Colorado State has a new recruiting tool that is already paying big dividends. The Rams open their new on-campus football stadium this fall and on Friday began using it to host high school prospects for their first Friday Night Lights camp.
Among the talented visitors was Tampa (Fla.) Cambridge-Christian athlete Jaylin Jackson, a do-everything playmaker for the Lancers. Jackson picked up a CSU offer in April, but the chance to visit and compete in front of his potential college position coach, Alvis Whitted, was a chance he couldn't pass up.
"It went good," Jackson said of his camp experience. "I worked with my position coach, Alvis Whitted. He's a great coach and he made me feel comfortable. He coached me hard and I liked that."
Since picking up an initial offer from Kentucky this spring, Jackson has since added offers from CSU, Navy, Troy, Army, and Georgia State. The electric offensive threat said his experience in Fort Collins over the weekend put CSU on top of his list of leaders.
"My top school is Colorado State," Jackson said. "When I visited this past weekend, it was a great area, great atmosphere and I just liked it overall. Everybody was nice and stuff like that."
The new stadium was an eye-opener, but more than that, it was the area and people that stood out most to Jackson.
"The visit was warming. I felt like I meant something to the coaching staff and they treated me well. The facilities were nice. The school part of it, they have good academics, so I liked that. Overall, it was just a great visit."
All the amenities, of course, caught his full attention during his stadium tour.
"Everything in the stadium, I mean, they have everything - the whole nine yards. It's very nice, top of the top facility. The stadium was very cool. It was like an NFL stadium, at that. It was just great."
Jackson plays quarterback for Cambridge-Christian, but is being recruited by schools to play slot receiver. He passed for 15 touchdowns and rushed for 12 more scores as a junior.
Whitted told Jackson he was impressed with his receiving abilities for not having played the position before.
"He said I have great hands and he said I've very explosive off the ball. I don't play receiver at my high school - I play quarterback, so he said I have raw skills for not playing wide receiver. That's what he liked about me, too."
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder does not plan to announce a commitment anytime soon. His goal is to wait the process out and take official visits this fall before deciding.
The idea of committing to CSU over the weekend did, in fact, cross his mind.
"Yeah, I thought about it, but I want to take my time during the recruiting process. I know my recruiting process is not over and I'm worried about my high school football team, not committing yet."
Academics and his relationship with his position coach will factor most heavily into his decision. Location will not play much of a role.
"I'm fine with Colorado. Everybody says it's going to be cold, but I don't worry about it, being in the cold."