Fall Visit Pushes Irish To the Top

Everyone has heard murmurs that Notre Dame got a jump on junior recruiting. It seems every time I turn around there's another top junior athlete that visited South Bend last fall for an Irish football game. Tony Jackson of Bishop Kearney high school (Rochester N.Y.) made the trip and he liked what he saw.

Notre Dame got a very early start for this recruiting class last fall. One of the players that has been on their radar for some time is Tony Jackson (5-9 185 pounds).

"The first week of September and I've been getting letters from them every week," Jackson said when asked when Notre Dame started recruiting him. "I was excited, I went to their game against Tennessee with my high school coach and my dad.. That was pretty cool.

"The tradition, the whole atmosphere, the players, it's college football at it's best. It was everything that you've heard. I saw Touchdown Jesus, met the players, and we saw the Gug Center, it's a great facility. – it was just amazing.

"I was mostly a Miami guy," Jackson said of when asked which school he cheered for growing up. "I always knew about Notre Dame. I knew they were a great football school. When I was growing up they didn't do too good, but they were still a great program and everyone had heard of them."

Although Jackson wasn't an Irish fan when he was younger, he walked away from his visit to Notre Dame impressed with what the university offers.

"I looked at it like this was this the top university for football and tradition," Jackson explained. "But I also looked at it from the perspective that Notre Dame is a good academic and athletic school. If the NFL isn't an option, which is a long shot, would I benefit from my degree from another school or from Notre Dame? I looked at from all the angles and Notre Dame is a great school and I got hooked to the whole atmosphere. That's what sets it apart from other schools. They're a top candidate."

Besides Notre Dame flooding Jackson's mailbox, he is being recruited by most of the Big East schools as well as Boston College, Maryland and Stanford.

"I'm projected as a defensive back," Jackson said of his position in college. "Last year I mostly played running back. Most schools haven't seen me on play defense on film they want to see me on defense."

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