Dontavious Jackson seems to remember it like it was yesterday. He stepped on Michigan’s campus for the first time the weekend of the Wolverines’ annual spring game, and everyone seemed to know who he was.
“It kind of surprised me, said Jackson. “I was like, ‘whoa!’ Random people (were) saying, ‘hey, that’s Dontavious Jackson. I was like, ‘man, this is what’s up!”
During visit in which there were many memorable experiences, the instant connection Jackson seemed to form with the fan base may have been the most memorable.
“It was wonderful. The fans they’re so enjoyable, so welcoming and they’re very humble people. They’re very accepting. It is almost like I’m home. I can almost do whatever I want. I’m just chillin. I feel relaxed. I don’t have to be all (uptight) when walking around.”
That was an aspect of Michigan that Jackson didn’t have a feel for before his trip to Ann Arbor. One that he did have a feel for was the coaching staff. Even so his interaction with them left him nonetheless impressed.
“First off, I got to see how they are outside of the recruiting and they’re pretty much the same,” said Jackson. “They’re the same people, same person when they are recruiting me that they when they are coaching their players. That was something I really liked. It was something that showed that they aren’t different, they don’t change for the recruiting game. They’re going to coach me like they say they are. I like their honesty also.”
In a word, they were real. That’s exactly how he came away feeling about the player he spent the most time with on the visit.
“I got a chance to chill with (Jabrill Peppers),” Jackson stated. “He’s a funny guy. He feels the same way I feel. He got hurt his freshman year and he feels like he hasn’t done anything yet and he still has the Michigan fan base behind him, so he’s in the same position I am right now.”
All told, the Wolverines appear to have come out of the visit in even stronger position than they were before. Where that places them in his top 18 remains to be seen, but it’s an answer he says he will be closer to giving by the end of the summer.
For more on Jackson’s decision criteria, decision timeline, and the most significant factors in his choice press play below.