Maryland is monitoring several safety recruits, and one of the more intriguing names out there, at least from a physical standpoint, is local product William Jackson. The St. John's (Washington, D.C.) prospect had limited film last season, but he stands 6-feet-3, 200 pounds, runs well and has impressed on the camp circuit. In fact, he was at the Terps' one-day June 1 and apparently opened the eyes of a couple staff members.
"I did really well at Maryland, just in the drills and things like that. Coach [Mike] Locksley and Coach [Brian] Stewart both liked me a lot and said I stood out," said Jackson, who holds offers from NC State, ODU, Nevada, Toledo and Connecticut. "The only thing is I didn't run the 40 [yard dash] while I was up there and they want me to come back for that. So I'm going back for their camp on June 28, and if I run well they're going to offer."
The Terps weren't able to snag the last St. John's safety they offered, Ayron Monroe, but if UMD pushes for Jackson it could be in a solid spot for him. Jackson has much love for the hometown school and said it would be an honor to earn an offer from the Terps.
"Maryland is close to home, it's a chance to play for my city, and my family can see me play," Jackson said. "It's great education-wise, and it's a football program that's up and coming."
Jackson said he's been in contact with his recruiter, Locksley, for some time now. Then after the June 1 camp he had a chance to tour College Park, Md., and chat to the staff even more.
"I actually went around with the quarterback who committed that day [Gage Shaffer], and the coaches were talking to us," Jackson said. "The coaches take care of you there and they're good people. Coach Stew, he's a great DB coach and his background shows that he can take you to another level. I really liked working with him at the camp and then talking to him. Coach Locksley is a great guy too; I've known him for a minute now."
The St. John's product's former teammate, William Ulmer, reports to UMD in days. But Jackson said the future Terps' quarterback isn't going to influence his decision, regardless if he gets an offer or not.
"I mean, Will said he likes Maryland but he doesn't really push the school," Jackson said. "But if I got the offer, [the Terps] would definitely be right in the conversation for me – definitely top five."
Before Jackson returns to Maryland for the June 28 camp, he's hitting Ohio State's one-day June 19. He said the Buckeye's have been in close contact and could offer should he perform well.
"Ohio State watched me work out twice during the spring, and they're the one school that hasn't offered that's been in touch the most," Jackson said. "So I'm getting up there for the camp, and hopefully I get the offer. That would be a big one for me."
After OSU, Jackson plans to visit NC State for the first time June 23. Of the schools that have extended scholarships so far, the Wolfpack seem to be standing out.
"Me and Coach Barlow talk a lot, and we have a good relationship. It's an ACC school, and I hear good things," Jackson said. "My sister goes to school down in the area, so I have family down there. I'm looking forward to seeing the campus and seeing if I like the school, and then I'll go from there."
Another program that's caught his eye is Toledo. He's friends with current Toledo safety Jordan Martin, and will be checking that school out some time in July. He's also looking to get up to UConn and down to Alabama for a camp July 25.
Jackson had previously visited Penn State, Clemson, Georgia and Maryland during the spring.
"To be honest, after I took some visits and worked out this spring, a lot of schools are coming at me, but I don't really let it affect me or pay much attention to it," Jackson said. "My coaches handle that and I trust they'll let me know what is best for me. I'm just taking things in right now."
Jackson has no firm timetable for making a decision. He acknowledged, however, that he'll be closely monitoring how many spots certain programs have open, and that could speed up his commitment.
"I might wait until after the school year so I can take some officials and see what other offers I get, but there's a chance I could do it [select a college] this summer as well," Jackson said. "It just depends on what the [college] coaches are saying and how much room they have."
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