"I pulled the trigger just after Coach Phelps left and it just felt like the right time," Gophers JUCO DT commit Merrick Jackson said to GopherDigest. "Coach Phelps and I didn't really talk about anything other than football, but I just got a good feeling about Minnesota, so I decided to become a Gopher."
The players are what put Minnesota offer the top for Jackson.
"Overall, the biggest reason why I decided on Minnesota was because I felt more comfortable with their players on my visit," Jackson explained to GopherDigest. "I felt like I could go to either Minnesota or Iowa State and be successful, but how I felt while on my visit to Minnesota is what I keep coming back to and that's why I chose Minnesota. The players there just gave me a good vibe and some I've known and the other ones I met all seemed like good people."
Jackson made Coach Claeys a very happy man last night.
"When I called Coach Claeys to tell him that I wanted to commit, he kept saying how happy he was," Jackson told GopherDigest. "He said that I was his first commit since he's really taken over as head coach and that my commitment was really an early Christmas present for him. That made me feel sensational to hear. Minnesota is planning on using me to my strengths as they don't have a guy with my kind of size there. I'm as cool as a cucumber about that."
Even though Mom wanted him elsewhere, it was ultimately Jackson's decision.
"My mom only met with the Iowa State coaches, so she was sold on them, but she wants me to be where I want to be and that's at Minnesota. I'll be signing with the Gophers on Wednesday. Ski-U-Mah!"