When Dante' Jackson made his way back up to Ann Arbor a few weeks ago, he did so with a very clear objective. Sure he'd again have the chance to spend some one-on0one time with the coaches and hang out with some of the players, but his primary interest was learning more about the academic support offered at Michigan..
"I was really concerned before I went about how the academics would end up," Jackson said. "We got there about 11:30 and met with Sue Shand, the academic advisor. We talked about some academic things for an hour and a half or so. I also toured the new academic center for the athletes. It was really nice. It was state of the art...definitely something I'd never seen before. They've got things that most colleges don't. It was real nice. They kind of reassured me that the only way I wouldn't graduate was if I didn't try. That was a big deal going up there. I had talked to and met the coaches before. That was certaina plus, but the main goal was to check out the academic situation."
One person Jackson hadn't spoken to before was future Wolverine, Alex Legion. The five star shooting guard was also in attendance that weekend and he spent some time getting to know his prospective teammate. "We're both kind of laid back people," Jackson said. "I definitely noticed that. But that's good. When we did talk we talked about our seasons. I told him our season was over but I wished him luck in his state tournament. Maybe we can get back and build a relationship."
After the visit, Jackson had a chance to reflect on things with the two gentlemen that accompanied him to Ann Arbor; Greenfield McClain athletic director Pat Stevens, and head basketball coach Rick Van Matre. Both were very impressed by Michigan's presentation.
"The whole way home they just kept stressing to me that Michigan is a great place," recalled Jackson. "They liked the was way the academics are set up and they think the program is on the rise. They thing a lot of good things are going to happen there in the near future. They were kind of just telling me that it's getting close to time to make a decision and that Michigan should be really really high on my list."
The Wolverines stand with Dayton and Xavier as the three programs on Jackson's list of favorites that have offered him a scholarship. He's also considering Ohio State, Kentucky, Illinois, Pittsburgh, and Purdue. Trips to a few of those schools are in the works.
"I've got a few more," said Jackson regarding visits. " I want to go up to Dayton with my mom. I haven't been there yet. I want to get out to Purdue with my mom as well. Now it's about getting to these places with my mom and my family members that haven't been able to see the campuses and meet the coaches. My mom hasn't been to any campus yet. Although the decision of where I'm going to play college basketball is up to me, there are a couple of things that are not allowing me to make that decision yet. One would obviously be having my mom feel comfortable with the place that I'm going. Second is I've been starting get some publicity on football, so I'm kind of trying to wait and see what that brings. I haven't really given it much thought. I'm just in the preliminary stages of seeing what's out there and if it's a legitimate opportunity for me to pursue both, or if it's just football, or just basketball. I can't say that I (have a timetable) at this point. I guess it will be whenever it's convenient for me to get my mom on these campuses.
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Jackson in the coming weeks.