Keith Jackson, 6-5, 300, Inglewood (Calif.) High, said he's been playing really well so far this season, on both sides of the ball.
"On offense, I've been really staying on my block," Jackson said. "On defense, I've had a lot of fun getting past my blocker and to the quarterback, and beating up on the guy who's blocking me."
Jackson said everything's going very well recruiting-wise also. "I have a lot of colleges calling the house, so it's fun."
UCLA is still his leader, he said, while rounding out his top six are Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and San Jose State.
"UCLA, Wisconsin and San Jose State have offered," Jackson said. "But the other three, they've all said they'd offer soon."
Jackson, who has a 3.0 GPA and scored a 980 on his SAT, is pretty new to the whole recruiting/college football phenomenon, having just started paying attention to different schools a year ago. "I didn't really grow up liking any school," he said. "I never even paid much attention to it. That's why this whole recruiting process is fun for me and I want to really enjoy it. I'd like to take all of my trips."
He'll trip to San Jose State December 1st, then Wisconsin December 8th. After that he hasn't formalized any trips. "I really want to visit Washington and Arizona. I don't think I'll visit UCLA. I've seen them a lot, so I don't think I'm going to make an official there. I haven't seen much of the other schools. I just started paying attention to them this year. I'm starting to watch the teams play now."
Since he said he's just started to watch teams play, the question is: Who looks good to him? "UCLA does. I went to the game against Ohio State. They look really good on defense. Oregon looks good. I haven't seen that much of Wisconsin or Arizona."
Staying close to home, Jackson said, isn't really a consideration. "It doesn't matter where I go to college. There are other things that matter more. I'd like to go somwhere I can contribute, by at leat my second year. And what's really important is that I go somewhere that, if football doesn't work out that where I go is a place I can live for four years and get a good education."
Jackson said there are a couple of reasons why UCLA is his leader. "They've been recruiting me. They're the school I know. But I went to their practice and I really like the way they conduct their practices. It's a really good environment there. I liked the Rose Bowl. It was a great atmosphere."
Not that getting Jackson wouldn't be enough, but there is the added allure of getting a recruiting advantage on Jackson's little brother, Lawrence, the 6-5, 240-lb. junior defensive end who is already being called one of the best in his class on the west coast. Jackson and his brother have in the past said how close they were. Jackson said, "We'll probably end up at the same college together."