The race for Donte Jackson

Donte Jackson is one of the few players in the 2015 recruiting class who can claim to have elite speed. Jackson ran 10.42 in the 100-meters at the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Class 4A State Track and Field Championships last spring.

Jefferson (La.) four-star cornerback Donte Jackson is the Bayou State’s reigning 100-meter and 200-meter state champion.

With speed a hot commodity on the recruiting trail, USC is one of several schools in the race for Jackson’s interest. Right now, Trojans defensive back coach Keith Heyward has been speaking with Jackson weekly about an official visit to the other L.A.

“Coach Heyward and I talk a lot, and I think a visit is going to happen,” said Jackson. “I just haven’t set up a date for it yet.”

The delay has come as Jackson focuses on making the most of his senior season. As a bonafide ironman for Riverdale High School, Jackson plays everything from quarterback and receiver to special teams, cornerback and safety.

As a junior, Jackson rushed for 450 yards and five touchdowns, while catching 19 passes for 380-yards and four touchdowns. Jackson also returned three kickoffs for scores.

On defense, Jackson had 35 tackles, one sack, four interceptions, three pass breakups and one forced fumble.

And by the way, he ran the 100-meters in 10.42 and the 200-meters in 21.42 seconds the following spring.

“Right now, my season comes first and then I’ll start to think about next year’s season in college,” said Jackson. “I know I’m going to have to make a decision some time.”

Jackson never leaves the field for Riverdale, and that is evident by what he is most proud of from his offseason workout regime.

“I put a lot of work into conditioning,” said Jackson. “Really, I’m proud of my endurance and my durability. I’m playing quarterback, slot receiver, running back, kick returner, cornerback… So I really worked on the small things.

“Eating more, lifting more and staying conditioned. It’s made me a better player and made me more versatile.”

USC sees Jackson as a cornerback first, but the nation’s No. 11 cornerback sees a lot of potential playing time on the Trojans roster at various positions.

“They lack a lot of depth in their secondary and I see that they play their versatile athletes on both sides of the ball,” said Jackson. “They’re playing Adoree Jackson on both sides of the ball, and that’s my kind of scheme.

“I also like the conference that they play in. The pass happy Pac-12. They’re talking about me being a return man and a lot of corner. I figure most teams will play me at corner with my speed and my coverage ability. But if I got on the field playing safety, I wouldn’t mind that either. I’m just a DB really.”

At this point, Jackson has no official visit dates set, but he does have a handful of destinations in mind for visits.

“I’ve been just talking to coaches and letting everything play out,” said Jackson. “We have two more Thursday games coming up, so I might try to take two visits during the season and then take three more after the season.

“I’m looking at LSU, Georgia, USC, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and that’s about it.”


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