And the West Coast native is thrilled to know that he'll have chance to play in the two conferences he's long dreamed of.
The 6-7, 300-pound Jackson has undergone a transformation of his body, dropping nearly 40 pounds since the end of his freshman season.
"I've been losing weight and lost around 38-40 pounds, and I'm about 7% less on body fat," said Jackson. "I had to look good for when coaches started coming around."
Schools knew of Jackson as a prep out of Sunnyvale (Calif.) Homestead, but academics kept him from signing in February of 2012.
Still, Joel Thomas, now the running backs coach at Arkansas, but then on staff at running back, kept an eye on him.
"Coach Thomas watched me develop through high school and he wanted me out of high school," said Jackson. "He made sure to keep watching me when I was at my first year at San Mateo and then when he got to Arkansas, he offered me."
The day after Arkansas offered, UCLA offered Jackson, this time, a former teammate giving the assist.
"They had recruited one of my teammates, Sione Fina, who signed with Cal, and that's how they came in contact with me," said Jackson. "UCLA came to see him and they eyeballed me and took some video and the day after Arkansas offered, Coach (Adrian) Klemm at UCLA offered me. That one definitely interested me because UCLA is in my top five schools."
And Cal, a school he grew up watching and one that signed his teammate, is also very much in play for him.
"I just took an unofficial visit to Cal and checked out their program and their facilities are beautiful," said Jackson. "I saw their weight room and met with their coaches. I talked a lot with (offensive line) Coach (Zach) Yenser and I loved the way he coaches. He's going to bring that mighty Cal offensive power back."
Growing up, Jackson said he's always dreamed of the SEC or the Pac-12, and with an offer from each conference, is thrilled with that chance. He's hoping more schools get involved.
"A dream school for me was either LSU or Florida or Texas A&M because I always watched the SEC," said Jackson. "But if I stay in my area, Oregon, UCLA, USC or Cal would be the ones. Texas Tech is very interested, but they haven't offered. Arizona State and Oregon have all talked with me and I've talked with Washington State and Washington too"
Several schools have indicated plans to come visit him this spring.
"A lot of coaches are calling my coach and telling him they want to come by," said Jackson. "Texas Tech, Arizona State, Oregon, UCLA and Arkansas I know are all going to come by. But my coach is trying to make it easy for me because my biggest thing is making sure the classroom gets done so come Signing Day, I don't have any problems."
Jackson is set to graduate with his AA in May of 2014. He'll have three years to play two.
But he's hoping to get done by December.
"I have three years of eligibility left, and right now, I'm on track to graduate in May, but the schools calling my coach are checking to see if I could get done in December and I think I'm on the right path," said Jackson.
Jackson played tackle for San Mateo last fall but will move inside to guard this season. So he's open to either spot when he gets to a D-I school.
"All I've played is tackle since high school, it's really all I know how to play," said Jackson. "But I'm moving to guard and it's working out right now so I can play either spot. Arkansas and UCLA, they really don't know between a tackle or guard, so they just like me as a lineman. I prefer to play tackle, but whatever the coaches want me at the end of the day, and whatever could get me to the next level, I'll play."
In the meantime, Jackson is taking the whole recruiting process in stride.
"I'm definitely excited, and it's been kind of hard to keep it all in, but I think I made the right decision, instead of just going to a state school, I felt I'd cut myself short and not have the opportunity to keep playing," said Jackson. "Now that I'm putting in the hard work and seeing all the schools recruiting me, all the hard work is paying off and I have some offers."