Busy Time for James Jackson

Grand Ledge (MI) wide receiver James Jackson has said from the beginning that he would wait it out before making a college decision. However, a rash of recent visits had many fans of the teams he's considering thinking he was nearing a decision. Is that the case? We get the report on his visits from the Comets' head coach.

Grand Ledge head coach Matthew Bird has taken a proactive approach in the recruitment of his star wide receiver James Jackson. Bird has had to get a second phone, he talks to Jackson nearly every day and he has gone on nearly every unofficial visit, junior day or other event his speedy star has been on.

Recently, Bird has been been on a Big Ten tour with James, as they have made return trips to the campuses of Michigan and most recently, Ohio State.

"It went well," Bird said of the trip to Columbus, "Coach Tressel is very well organized and they do a nice job down there. The facilities are gorgeous."

The internet scuttlebutt had been that this second trip to see the Buckeyes meant they were leading for Jackson's services, but Bird says Jackson still does not have a leader.

"It's still wide open," he said, "Ohio State is one we haven't visited a lot, so if he's going to consider them seriously, we need to see as much of them as possible. We just are trying to visit as many places as we can. It was nice [at Ohio State] this time because we had a one on one situation with the coaches."

As for the Wolverines, a recent spring practice was the first opportunity for Jackson and Bird to see the new look Wolverines in action and to view some of the changes in coaching style the maize and blue are undergoing.

"Yes, it went well," Bird said, "and James is talking about going there to visit them on his own during spring break (next week). There's a feel there that he'd really fit the system well and Coach Rodriguez is an unbelievable guy and his staff works really hard. We're impressed by the work ethic and I always like to talk to the support people and they're impressed by it and we're impressed by it. Everyone's leery of things when they change, but when you see the winged helmet, its still U of M football and nobody's bigger than that program."

Then there are the Spartans of Michigan State, who Jackson has not visited in some time, but not for lack of effort.

"It is tough with the track season, but he'll be there tomorrow for their scrimmage and he's been itching to get back there."

In addition to track, Jackson has been working hard in the weight room and is now up to 180-lbs. While most of his recent visits have been to Big Ten schools, that doesn't mean he is only limiting himself to Midwest schools.

"Like I said, it's still wide open," Bird reiterated, "He was just offered by Tennessee tonight. That was a big one. He ran in Knoxville once and really liked campus. Coach Adkins called and let me know they were officially offering James. Unfortunately we won't be able to get down there until this summer."

However, that doesn't mean the travel schedule will slow down for Bird and Jackson. They actually will be traveling more soon as they embark on a trip to sunny California.

"We will fly out to California to visit USC and UCLA on unofficial," he said, "at USC, he's friends with Ahmad Rashad who runs out there and he's always liked UCLA, so we're excited for the trip."

We will have more from Bird and Jackson himself on their busy travel plans in the near future.

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