Maryland DE Is High On Duke

With more than 30 offers on the books for the class of 2012, the Blue Devil coaching staff is off to the races. One of the first players to check his mail and find an offer letter is Maryland defensive end Allen Jackson who spoke to TDD about the early stages of the process.

"Right now I play receiver, tight end, and defensive end for my high school," said McDonogh School standout Allen Jackson. "I am being recruited as a defensive end by all the programs though."

It's easy to see why as Jackson has the measureables (6-foot-5, 225 pounds, and 4.74 forty time) and as a junior he backed those up with production (90 tackles, nine sacks, and four blocked kicks) on the field enough to earn All-Conference honors while catching the eye of a number of programs from the SEC and ACC.

The first program to offer, however, is Duke.

"I actually talked to Coach Roper a lot and he said it would be good for me to hear what Coach Cutcliffe had to say directly. So I visited for their junior day and had a chance to talk with Coach Cut. I was excited to have a chance to speak with him and listen to his pitch and vision for me."

And what was it that Cutcliffe saw in Jackson's future, should he choose to become a Blue Devil?

"He mainly talked about the chance I would have to come in and compete for early playing time and how much they are working and investing in the program. Hiring new coaches and buildings new facilities is only part of it. Coach Cutcliffe isn't interested in just being competitive, he wants to start qualifying for bowl games and eventually becoming a national contender."

In addition to the usual tours and meetings that accompany most visits, Jackson was able to get a feel for the Duke program and campus. Upon reflection, it had a familiar feel that could prove to be a positive mark in Cutcliffe's favor.

"It was a lot like my high school in terms of size and feel, which is good because I love my high school. Duke seems like it could be a great place to be, and getting a Duke degree means a lot in the real world. I'd pretty much be set for life if that happened. I really liked everything about my time there, and it will be what I compare other visits to."

And speaking of other visits, Jackson says he and his family will look to set those up as the Spring arrives and schedules become a bit more firm.

"I definitely want to go back to Duke and there are some other schools I want to see. The main thing about my decision, at least at this point, is that I know I don't want to go too far away from home. I'm going to make a choice based on distance and how well I get along with the coaches and players as well."

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