Jackson Has 'Great' UNC Visit

After officially visiting North Carolina over the weekend – his first trip to the campus – Tim Jackson can envision himself being a Tar Heel.

"It was a great visit," Jackson said. "I could really see myself living there, playing ball there, [and] going to school there – the whole deal."

Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 209-pound defensive end from St. Petersburg (Fla.) Gibbs, says he's narrowed his list of schools under consideration to Iowa State, Kentucky, UNC, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Wake Forest. The visit has pushed UNC into the top half of that group.

"The three leaders are the three schools that I've been on [official] visits so far," Jackson said. "Being able to see those schools has helped them."

Jackson visited Wake Forest in mid-September and Stanford the weekend before his UNC official visit.

The remaining members of Jackson's final six – Iowa State, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt – are battling it out for his final two official visit slots.

Jackson's parents, sister and aunt joined him on his UNC official visit. The group arrived in Chapel Hill Friday afternoon.

Linwan Euwell, a sophomore defensive end, hosted Jackson during his stay.

"It was fun," Jackson said of being hosted by Euwell. "I got a lot of questions answered about the campus life, academics, [and] practice. I got to meet a lot of other players.

"[That was] something different from Stanford. I didn't really get a chance to talk to a lot of players [at Stanford] – especially at my position. At UNC, I talked to just about every single defensive end there and got a chance to be around them."

Besides Euwell, Jackson spent a great deal of time with John Blake, UNC's defensive line coach.

"I got information on some of the things he's done, all the places he's coached, [and] who he has coached," Jackson said. "He's a highly regarded defensive line coach on the NFL and college level. He showed me some of the success of his defensive ends [and] let me know about the defensive end situation."

The UNC coaching staff expects Jackson to see compete for playing time as a freshman and then be a significant part of the defensive line unit in a couple of seasons.

"He said Robert Quinn is mostly likely going to leave after next year," Jackson said. "So that leaves two juniors and one sophomore. He just sees me as the heir apparent after [Quinton] Coples and [Michael] McAdoo leaves. He really talked about a lot of playing time, especially freshman year.

"Coach [Butch] Davis mentioned he only red-shirted a defensive lineman once since he's been [at UNC] – that's because of an injury. He believes in freshman year getting some snaps in – getting your feet wet.

"After I returned home, I looked at the roster and there weren't any red shirt players on the defensive line at all."

Davis also discussed with Jackson his past and future.

"He talked about how he was a defensive line coach at Miami and Dallas," Jackson said. "He plans to stay at North Carolina for the rest of his coaching career. It will be the last job that he takes. He plans to retire after North Carolina."

Additionally, Jackson met with Jeff Connors, UNC's strength and conditioning coach, the training staff, and academic support staff. His visit also included a campus tour, bowl practice, and the UNC-Presbyterian basketball game.

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