It’s camp season in college football, and while the Maryland staff didn’t host a one-day during the first June weekend, the coaches were out in full force at various satellite events. A handful of UMD staffers were in Jacksonville, Fla., June 4, while five others headed to Atlanta, Ga., for the Sound Mind/Sound Body camp.
Terps’ Georgia-area recruiter Mike London attended the latter, allowing him an opportunity to watch and reconnect with the day’s headliner recruit (for UMD purposes). Pace Academy (Atlanta, Ga.) running back Deon Jackson has held a Maryland offer since February, visited College Park, Md., April 16 and has the Terps among his foremost suitors.
“I did really, really well at the camp and I think I opened some eyes for sure,” said Jackson, who holds offers from UMD, Duke, Louisville, Missouri, Iowa State, Wisconsin, NC State, Southern Miss, Oregon State, BC, UCF, WVU, Rutgers, Purdue and others. “I know Michigan State’s coaches were watching me and are showing interest. And then the others watching me were Maryland, Iowa State and Mississippi State. They were talking to me a little bit afterwards and just seeing how I was doing. So it was good.”
Of the above, Jackson seemed most excited about seeing London again. The Pace Academy product said he has a solid rapport with the Terps’ defensive line coach and speaks to him multiple times each week.
“Coach London was there and he was mainly watching the D-linemen, but he came over to watch me too,” Jackson said. “He said he just wanted to come check up on me. He told me I looked real good and have gotten a lot faster, which people have told me a lot recently. He likes how I move, how I catch the ball – just saying things like that.
“But me and Coach London, we talk a decent amount. I talk to him and [running backs coach Anthony] Tucker, but Coach Tucker wasn’t there [June 4]. They’re real down-to-earth people, they keep it real, they’re very passionate and they’ve very high on me, which I like. They think I can come in and do some damage right away for them, so that’s what I like to hear.”
Jackson visited College Park for the first time for the Terps’ spring game, an experience that rocketed UMD up the Georgian’s unstated leaderboard. The Pace Academy back said he “definitely” wants to return to Maryland later this summer.
“I like the offense under Coach [Walt] Bell, I like how the team is run with Coach [D.J.] Durkin, and I can just they’re building something special with how the 2017 recruit class is shaping up,” Jackson said. “I got to meet some of the other recruits at the spring game, and what they were saying really stood out. Also, it’s a pretty good atmosphere there, I liked the campus and I liked the academic advisors I spoke to. So it was a great visit and I definitely want to get back.”
Jackson has yet to announce a favorites list, but he admitted there were around four programs at the forefront of his mind. He said coaches from Duke, Maryland, Mizzou and Louisville are in touch the most and showing the most love.
“I guess you could say those are the four on top,” admitted Jackson, who left off Wisconsin, which was thought to be a primary contender (he admitted Madison, Wisc., might be too far north for him). “I have the best relationship with those four schools.”
Jackson visited Louisville last year and Maryland April 16, but would like to see each again. He has yet to take in Duke or Mizzou, but he’ll be in Durham, N.C., June 12 and Columbia, Mo., later in the summer.
Additionally, Jackson will be camping at Notre Dame June 18 and Georgia the weekend after in hopes of procuring Bulldogs and Irish looks. Jackson has visited UGA before and would have keen interest in the SEC program if the staff anted up.
“I’m thinking late summer, after I take some visits, I should be able to make my [college] decision,” Jackson said. “But my mind is racing right now with all these schools, so if I still have questions I’ll push it back into the fall. So I might take a couple officials if I feel the need to.”