The collective shock and sadness being felt by Michigan fans in the aftermath of the improbable ending to Saturday’s meeting is extremely palpable. Few supporters of the Maize & Blue can fathom recruits having positive experiences despite the obvious disappointment in the air, but that is exactly what happened. Among those that came away extremely impressed was Elk Grove (Calif.) defensive back Lamar Jackson.
“I enjoyed it,” Jackson told The Michigan Insider. “Everything was good from the game atmosphere to the coaching. I had fun.”
“I got in Saturday morning and as soon as I got in we got rolling. First we ate breakfast and I got to talk to the coaches, then we went to Game Day, then we went to the little recruiting thing, and by that time it was game time. After the game I chilled with Jake Butt and a couple of other guys.”
That time with the players and also the coaches before heading back to California Sunday afternoon made a distinctly positive impression.
“Everyone had high spirits,” said Jackson. “In my eyes they won. They won. It’s just something (fluky) like that happened in the last 10 seconds. That’s football.”
“It was crazy because we were waiting to get on the field the last 10 seconds before it happened. It was just crazy to hear 100,000 people go quiet. But the coaches handled it well. They told me they should have gotten that one, but at the same time (the coaches and players) are not blaming (each other).”
Another appealing aspect of his time in Ann Arbor was getting an in-depth look at the vision the Wolverines have for him.
“They said there is definitely an opportunity for me to play right away,” said Jackson. “They said they want me to play corner and I like that a lot. Coach Durkin came up from up Florida and has (Michigan) playing like the Florida dudes played with that swag and all of that. He is a great leader on that side of the ball. He said they play man the majority of the time, and I’m a big corner that can (play man).”
There was but one negative during the trip, albeit a minor one.
“I was kind of cold, but they told me if you’re going to be playing in the NFL you might as well get used to it now,” Jackson stated. “I was like, ‘you’re right!’ And it wasn’t that bad.”
With visits to Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and now Michigan behind the Golden State star, it’s clear that the Wolverines have made themselves more of a factor in the race for his services.
“It moved them up a lot,” Jackson said of Michigan. “They moved up high. They kind of have the whole package with coaching (and) football atmosphere. I think that was amazing. 110,000 people… that’s crazy! They’ve got everything you look for in a great program… the coaching staff and their direction. I like their direction. I love Coach Harbaugh and the staff."
“I’m going to take one more visit, but I’m not sure where yet. Then I’m going to be ready to make my decision I January (at the Under Armour All American game). I’ll go somewhere where I can see myself going in and playing as soon as possible and where I can be a part of something great.”