Top Bayou RB Ready For Duke Visit

As the class of 2005 begins to wind down in terms of available scholarships, the Blue Devils have a few specific needs remaining, including an opening at running back. With that in mind, Duke has offered one of the better runners in Louisiana. He's returned the interest and will be on campus this weekend. On Thursday night, Patrick Jackson spoke with TDD.

"Duke's telling me I'm at the top of their list for running backs," says 5'11, 200 lbs West Saint John High standout Patrick Jackson. "They are saving a spot for me and want me to be part of this class."

Despite coming into the recruiting radar a bit later than some other prospects, Jackson has quickly rocketed up the various recruiting boards thanks to his incredible senior season. During the 2004 campaign he produced 2,090 rushing yards and 38 touchdowns in WSJ's 11 games, which quickly got the attention of the Duke coaching staff.

"They called and told me they needed another running back and that they wanted me. Coach Roof seems like a great guy and he really believes I can make a difference there."

And while Roof believes Jackson can make a difference for Duke, the Louisiana native believes Duke could certainly make a difference with him.

"If I went to Duke, I'd have a great degree even if I never went pro. That's something you have to think about."

Boasting a final list of LSU, Michigan State, Ole Miss, and Duke, Jackson says he's looking for the "right environment" on his official visits. After returning from Durham this weekend, he'll go to LSU on the 21st. Then it'll be decision time.

So where does Duke rank on his list?

"They are right up there with LSU. LSU has been more successful recently, but I probably wouldn't play there early on. They bring in a lot of guys every year, but at Duke I can go in and make a difference early. It's something to think about."

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