Will Jackson: Official Visit Journal

The fans that follow recruiting know that an official visit normally involves a two day stay on campus. Many of these same fans aren't aware of what actually takes place on these visits. Offensive lineman Will Jackson of Farragut High School (TN) took the time to give some insight by providing GoJackets.com with a journal of his visit.

Friday - We arrived at the Georgia Tech hotel at one o'clock where my mother and I were greeted by Coach (Mike) Sewak and other staff members. Once we unpacked, we were bussed over to the stadium where we ate lunch in the letterman's lounge with all the coaches, prospects, and families. I was able to eat lunch with Coach (Todd) Spencer and Coach Buzz (Preston).We talked about everything from the upcoming bowl game to that morning's practice. I also sat and spoke with Luke Swift from Indiana and Julian Burnett out of Macon during the meal.

After lunch, we proceeded to tour the locker and training rooms. We received an in-depth presentation about each. Following these, we had an academics presentation in the player's lounge where we could speak with someone representing our field of study. I opted to listen to the speaker from the college of management which turned to be very informal. To wrap up the academics, we spoke with the counselors who oversee football players at Tech. They explained everything regarding study hall and course selection. The staff then sent us over to the hotel to get ready for dinner.

We loaded up buses around six and went to The Capital Grille in Buckhead. When we arrived at the restaurant, we were greeted by our hosts who showed us to our table. Daniel Drummond and I were at a table with Austin Barrick and Joseph Gilbert. After dinner, all four of us left together to go back to Austin's dorm.

Once we got back to the dorm, Roddy Jones and some other guys came over. We hung out in the dorm and watched the Richmond-Montana game. The players had to get to bed early because they had an early practice, so we made our way back to the hotel around midnight.

Saturday - We awoke relatively early Saturday morning and ate breakfast around eight-thirty in the hotel with the recruits and their families. After breakfast, we proceeded to the Rose Bowl practice fields to watch the team wrap up their bowl preparations. I was able to get a realistic view of what I would be doing for the next four or five years by getting up close during the drills.

The staff transported us from the fields to the newly renovated weight room where Coach (Eric) Ciano gave us a tour. It is definitely an improvement from what I saw six months ago. Ciano proceeded to talk about all the different pieces of equipment and explained Tech's nutrition program. This was very interesting since they are sponsored by Kroger and Muscle Milk.

We proceeded to go on an in-depth tour of the campus after leaving the weight room. The staff showed us essentially everything on campus: the dorms, the rec center, and the location of some academic buildings. The tour was wrapped up by having lunch in the Presidential Suite catered by Mary Mac's.

After lunch, we were taken to the player's lounge where (Chaplain) Derrick Moore spoke to us. He did a wonderful job as always. He talked about the maturation process we would undergo at Tech and that he would be a key figure in helping us through it, which my mother liked a lot. Once Derrick completed his talk, the recruits were taken into position meetings with the coaches for an hour. Being that there was only one other offensive line recruit on the visit; it provided the opportunity of having one on one time with Coach Sewak and Coach Spencer. I was with Coach Sewak first and he showed me the improvement the offense has made over the course of the season by watching film of the Virginia Tech game and Miami game. He also explained his plans for me. He believes I have a chance to start if I work hard and improve my strength and size. A redshirt year is not out of the question by any means. Coach Spencer and I just hung out for the next half hour. We are very close so we just talked about different things, from football to nutrition. He and I are very similar so it was fun to spend some time with him.

The buses took us back to out hotels where we had about two and a half hours of downtime to kill before we left for dinner at the Wardlaw Center. Austin Barrick, Roddy Jones, Luke Swift, and myself all had dinner together. The staff had turned the lights on the field which gave us something nice to look at while we ate. During dinner the players continued to show me that I fit in down there because we all have very similar interests and personalities. After dinner, we left with our hosts to go out for the night.

Austin and I headed back to his dorm. He drove me around campus a little bit to show me around and then we went out to hang out with some of the other guys. I got back to my hotel room around midnight and went straight to bed.

Sunday - Breakfast was served the Sunday morning around ten. Coaches and their families were there to eat along with all of the recruits. Coach Sewak and Coach Spencer ate with my mother and me as we ate in the hotels private conference room. After we finished our meal, Coach (Paul) Johnson met with my mother and I to say he appreciated us coming and was glad I was coming to Tech. This was a great visit and completely reinforced my decision about attending Georgia Tech.

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