Jimmy Jaggers is proof that there isn’t always a direct correlation between stats and talent. There are tight ends that hauled in more receptions in a couple of games than Jaggers did in a couple of seasons, but his combination of size and athleticism have helped earned him the distinction of being one of the most heavily recruited tight ends in the country.
"I had 12 catches (last year), which believe it or not quadrupled my production from my sophomore season where I had three catches," said Jaggers.
"Honestly the 7-on-7 helped me. I know a lot of coaches say they won't ever offer off 7-on-7 tape, but I think it helped me with the receiver aspect of it and also my receiver coach Doc Holly, I started working with him again this year. From the film (college coaches) could see I was a physical blocker, aggressive, and just from seeing me in person could tell that I'm not just a blocking tight end."
The 19 programs that have extended him scholarship offers back up that assertion. Michigan was one of the earliest to enter the mix, and one year after both sides began showing mutual interest a recent conversation confirmed it is still there. That silences speculation to the contrary stemming from his decision to not visit Ann Arbor with his 7-on-7 team a few weeks ago.
“I just talked to them,” said Jaggers. “I told them there was still interest there and that (not visiting) was nothing to do with no interest there. I told them that it was kind of a family decision not to go up there, that we had been there twice, and we kind of wanted to see some other schools that we hadn't seen before. Then also we wanted to look at schools on the west coast. With June coming we might be able to get out there (to Michigan) and visit. We'll kind of see what other schools we visit in June. They were just like, ‘we understand it. We know you've been up here, so it's not really a big deal to get you back up here.’ I'm comfortable with the place and familiar with it."
He is also comfortable with his would-be position coach in Ann Arbor.
"I like Coach (Jay) Harbaugh a lot,” said Jaggers. “I like that staff there but last time I was there we were able to get a good feel for him. He's a good guy, someone you could definitely see getting coached by, but he also cares about you as a person as well."
That type of connection with his future coaches is one of the many factors the Golden State star will use to pare down his wide open list.
“I'm just kind of waiting through this spring eval period to see my overview and kind of narrow it down between West coast, Midwest, and East coast,” said Jaggers. “Then (I’ll) decide which schools I really want to focus on and visit at the beginning of summer. (I’ll) hopefully have a top group by then."
“All the schools I'm looking at right now have great academics, great guys on the coaching staff and so I mean really it's all just going to come down to how comfortable I am there, the kind of scheme, how they plan on using me. And that's really it. The area, can I see myself living there afterwards? Proximity to home will not play a difference."
Jaggers plans to be an early enrollee and will indicated his choice will be made by December at the latest.