UNC has 'outside shot' at Jackson

In the Terrell Jackson sweepstakes, it has been a longtime two-horse race between ASU and Oregon. While the running back reaffirmed that in his interview, he also threw a name of a potential dark horse school that may land this coveted blue chipper ...

To say that Terrell Jackson is grappling with his recruiting decision would be an understatement. "If it came down to that," he said. "I could just put two names in a hat, and whatever name I pull out that's where I'm going to school (smile). I wake up one day and say ‘I'm going to Oregon' and then I wake up the next day and say ‘I'm going to ASU'. It's a different mindset everyday."

Jackson admitted that if it were up to him, he would verbally commit "by the end of the week." He added that the reason he's taking other visits is due to his Mom's wishes. Thus, he feels it's unlikely that he will decide prior to his Cal visit (1/9) or his North Carolina visit (1/16).

However, even though he sees himself staying on the West Coast, he does state that the Tar Heels have a chance to be his final destination. "To tell you the truth," exclaimed Jackson. "I think North Carolina has an outside shot. Their coach already stressed that I could come in there and play early. If I go to North Carolina and like it there, and feel that I can live there for four years, I would probably go there."

We asked him what he liked about the Oregon and ASU programs, he replied: "The biggest thing I liked about Oregon is that they're the only show in town. Everybody comes out and supports the team every game…with ASU I just love how Tempe is a great college town, and there's so many things to do."

The running back talked to us fresh from the CaliFlorida high school All-Star game. Jackson told us it was an experience he truly relished in. "It was cool hanging out with the guys," he claimed. "You always want to play the best teams and best players. That's how it's gonna be in College." The lone compliant he had was over the lack of playing time. "There were so many running backs," said Jackson, "we had to rotate every play." Carrying the ball three times for 17 yards is definitely foreign territory for a player who in his last two years amassed close to 5,000 yards and 90 touchdowns.

This bowl game may have took place during the dead period of the recruiting season, but the ASU recruiting efforts did continue courtesy of one of the Sun Devils' commits – Leo Talavou. "Leo is always telling me ‘I'll block for you if you come to ASU.' We went on the ASU trip together, and we're cool with each other. It's a good thing." Nevertheless, the running back stated that his friendship with the offensive lineman wouldn't influence his final decision.

A few weeks ago, the Centennial High School standout took an unofficial visit to Tempe. The reason being was for his mom, who did visit Oregon, would get to see her son's co-leading school. "The visit wasn't as much fun (smile)," said Jackson. "I just wanted to have my Mom's blessing if I did decide to go to ASU." The running back told us that following the visit; his Mom is also torn between both Pac-10 schools. "She was very impressed with ASU," he said. "She thought the world of it. She talked to everyone on the coaching staff, and the academic staff. It's also a tie for her between Oregon and ASU (smile)."

Despite being one of the most sought after players in the West Coast, Terrell Jackson hasn't let the intense recruiting process bring him down. "It's still fun," he exclaimed. "I like going on those trips and getting pampered (smile). That's the cool thing about it. It happens only once in the lifetime. Not so many players are lucky to have a school wanting them to play for them."

"I'm not getting fed up with the process," Jackson continued. "And it isn't stressing me out. It means a lot to me that I put a lot of hard work in, and now ASU and Oregon have me at the top of their list (of running backs)."

Time will tell which of those two schools will be the last one standing, or will both end up succumbing to North Carolina…

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