“Right now I am going to visit Missouri unofficially, and that is my last visit,” said Atlanta (Ga.) Pace Academy RB Deon Jackson. “I’ll probably be committed to a school by August 1st.”
With more than 30 scholarship offers from all over the Power 5 conferences, Jackson certainly has a number of options, but it appears as though the Tigers will join Duke as the final schools standing. When it comes to the Blue Devils, it starts with a common theme: building a relationship.
“I have an excellent relationship with Duke. Coach Boyette recruits me the most [from Duke]; he is my main recruiter. He texts me every morning and is often the first message I see when I wake up.”
Boyette isn’t the only member of the Duke Football program recruiting Jackson either.
“Some of the commits that are recruiting me are Drew Jordan, Jacob Rimmer, and Marvin Hubbard. They just tell me that Duke is on the rise and that it’s a great place and a great education.”
That message has been echoed and expanded upon by Boyette.
“His main pitch is that I can accomplish all my goals at Duke. Whether it be making it to the NFL or earning the best degree possible.”
Rated as a three star prospect, Jackson is described as one of the more versatile prospects on the board by Scout.com’s national recruiting director, Chad Simmons:
“You have to stay alert when watching Jackson because he may line up at running back, the receiver, then slot, then fullback, then cornerback, then safety on any given play. He is a versatile football player with a lot of value on both sides of the ball. He is capable of playing offense or defense in college. He has made the most plays in high school at running back. He has a nice burst when he gets the ball and he finds the openings. He has very good hands to receive the ball as well. On defense, he is a safety and plays best coming downhill. He is a physical player and he kind of plays with an edge on the field.”
As far as a self evaluation, Jackson provides the following:
“I feel as if I'm very balanced. At about 6-feet and 207 pounds I can run like a power back and I have the speed to run outside. I had a 4.37 hand time clocked by the staff at Duke. I can also catch out the backfield and play wide receiver which I would do a little, if I end up going to Duke. I feel that I need to work on hitting my holes a little harder and stop trying to hesitate so much once I get the ball.”
“Also I'm sure I'll put on about 15 or so more pounds between now and when my freshman season starts.”
Does that mean he’s being pitched the idea of playing as a true freshman?
“Yes, a few schools like Duke and Mizzou are talking to me about playing early and using that as a pitch.”
But there would be a learning curve in playing as a true freshman, which Jackson acknowledges.
“Honestly, just adjusting to the speed and physicality of college football will be big for me to play early. I'm up for the challenge though.”
Jackson says right now the most likely plan for him will be to commit to a school and then take an official visit to that program during the season or closer to Signing Day.