Being ranked the #3 cornerback in the country was like a bull’s-eye tethered to Adoree Jackson’s back on day one of Nike’s The Opening. The Golden State star noticed that the moment he stepped onto the field.
“I feel like if I make a mistake it’s the end of the world,” Jackson said afterward. “I just want to get on top of my game. Of course I’m going to mess up a little bit. Somebody is going to catch the ball or the DB is going to break the ball up on me, but I’ve just got to take that into consideration and be like, ‘I’m going to kill you on the next play.’ That’s my mentality out here. You might get me one play, but just know that I’m going to come back and I’m going to keep grinding and get you the majority of the time.”
Thus far, getting the nest of the five-star talent has been easier said than done.
“There really hasn’t been anybody that was the toughest to cover,” Jackson stated confidently. “I’ve been (in position) the whole time. The only problem was for me I took a bad angle to the ball. I’d be right there, but I took a bad angle to the ball. I haven’t gotten beaten one time yet. Hopefully it stays like that. But I’m a DB so you never know what is going to happen.”
On the recruiting front Jackson is holding steady with his top 10 of Florida, Florida State, Illinois, Michigan, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, USC, and UCLA. He had previously mentioned plans to visit the Midwestern suitors on that list when he returned home to Illinois later this month. That included a likely stop at Michigan’s Barbecue at the Big House. At this point, though, all of those trips appear to be in limbo.
“I don’t have any lined up right now,” he said. “It just depends on how I feel when I get down there and visit in Illinois with my family. If I want to go then I’m going to go, but if I don’t feel like it I’m not going to go.”
If he winds up making it to Michigan there’s now a strong chance that it would not be for the barbecue.
Explained Jackson, “I think I want to go a totally separate day. I wouldn’t want to go (with all of the other people) there. I just want to go on a totally separate day.”
One topic that would almost certainly be broached again is Jackson’s desire to participate in track. The Wolverines have made clear their policy of not allowing players to compete in other sports in their first year on campus. That obviously didn’t hinder Michigan’s rise up Jackson’s list to this point. However, among this filtered group of suitors the Maize & Blue is indeed being impacted.
“I’ll be 100 (percent honest)… yeah, (the policy hurts Michigan) a little bit because the Olympics (are) in 2016,” Jackson stated. “You can’t take no days off. If I slip up and miss it by that one year, coming back trying to do it a second year, it‘s going to be hard for me. Somebody else is out there getting better and grinding, and that’s the same time that I need to be grinding. So if I’m focusing (only) on football it might take a little bit off my game. I might end up coming short a couple of inches. I’ll know if I had that extra year I’d probably win by a couple of more feet, a couple of more inches. So I’ve got to take everything into consideration and see how is that going to happen.”
Another factor Jackson is giving minor consideration to is which schools a few other notable prospects attend. One that he is paying particular attention to is his teammate, Dwight Williams. At one time the two Gardena (Calif.) Serra standouts openly contemplated attending the same school.
“We joke around about it, but we don’t know how serious it is right now,” said Jackson. “We’re still just trying to enjoy our senior year. If everything works out and it’s best for him and best for me, that’s probably pretty much how it’s going to be. We’re just going to do whatever is best for each other.”
The same can be said for an acquaintance he has made from a distance, Michigan commitment Jabrill Peppers.
Said Jackson, “he ain’t working me hard like that, but he is still talking to me every now and then and giving that little bug, telling me, “you need to come to Michigan… you need to come to Michigan,’ and stuff like that.”
Just how viable the Wolverines are in the race for Jackson’s services will become much clearer in the next few months. First will come his decision on whether or not to visit Ann Arbor later this month. Then will come another trimming of his list not too long afterward.
“I’m probably going to do my (top) five before the season most likely,” he said.
To view the video interview with Jackson, press play below.