Heading into last week Dontavious Jackson had seen his recruitment get off to a strong start. The Houston (Tex.) Alief Elsik standout had already amassed offers from Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Michigan State, Arizona State, and a host of others. Then last Thursday it got even stronger thanks to an offer from the University of Michigan.
“It actually came out of the blue,” said Jackson. “I had never really talked to Michigan and I found out (Thursday) morning that my friend Jeffery McCulloch got offered. Some friends told me that (Greg Mattison) was going to be at the field house. He ended up talking to my coach and my coach told me.”
While the Maize & Blue is certainly new to Jackson’s recruiting scene, the school and the program aren’t totally foreign to him.
“Michigan has a great engineering program,” Jackson. “They (also) have a great business program. It’s a great school and a good education. They just got a new head coach, Jim Harbaugh, and he going to make things happen. He’s made things happen at the level above the collegiate level. He’s made things happen in college before. So I know he’s a great head coach and he’s going to make something happen (at Michigan). That intrigues me.”
Enough to warrant a visit to Ann Arbor?
“I hope so,” he replied. “Michigan has some distance and I want to get away on my visits. I’ve visited Texas, I’ve visited A&M, Oklahoma State and Louisiana Tech. Just tours of the school, I’ve visited TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma.”
“I want to venture out.”
That might come as a surprise with college football powers like Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M surrounding him, but he claims no allegiance to any of them and to date none of them have offered.
“People like to make it seem like (Texas) was a long=time favorite, but really my favorite growing up was USC. I never really had a dream school.”
“(And regarding offers from those three schools), I’m just being patient. I spoke to all those schools. They just haven’t pulled the trigger yet.”
Based on Jackson’s impressive blend of size and athleticism it appears likely that one or more of them will at some point.
“My forty-time is 4.69, height is 6-3, and my weight is 235,” he said describing his game. “I play with a lot of tenacity. I’m very aggressive. I love being physical. (I have) great sideline to sideline speed and I use my hands very well. I’m great at shedding blocks. I have the aggressiveness and the agility to cover.”
Add that all up and you have a prospect that will wind up as one of the most heavily pursued prospects in the Lone Star State. No school stands out currently, but Jackson already has an idea of the criteria for separating one of his suitors from all of the rest.
“First off, the business program,” he said. “Football doesn’t last forever and I have to find a profession. Second off, early play. Who have they offered, who do they have there and what other commits. Also the scheme and things like that.”
And distance from home?
“Not really,” he said. “I’ve never really been the type to get homesick. Of course I will in college, but I don’t think distance will get to me at all.”
Turns out, neither will the weather.
“I play my best in the cold,” Jackson stated proudly.
But that attribute doesn’t portend his choice of a northern destination for college. It merely means he is wide open to all options. At the same time he insists he won’t drag the recruiting process out to the bitter end.
“I don’t plan on waiting until signing day,” Jackson stated. “I don’t feel like that’s necessary, but if I play in the Under Armour or Army All-American game, to me there will definitely be a choice, but as of right now I don’t know when, but by summer I will have at least a top five.”