B2G ELITE: Priorities for Jackson

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. — Lamar Jackson made it to the B2G Elite Camp two days late, but the four-star defensive back had good reason for being la no show earlier in the week.

Elk Grove (Calif.) safety Lamar Jackson is just beginning to settle in with the recruiting process after a surge of scholarship offers during the May Evaluation Period.

But Jackson isn’t going to wait around until signing day to choose his college. After missing the first two days of the B2G Elite Camp because of summer school, Jackson clued everyone in on the reason for his absence.

“I had class to attend, but not because I have classes to make up,” said Jackson. “I’m trying to get out and graduate early. I have the credits to do it, but I need to retake some classes to bump my core GPA.”

“A lot of schools think it’s a good thing to get in early, so that’s what I’m on track to do. My ultimate goal is to come in and make an impact as soon as possible. If I get in there early, I’ll get a chance to compete with the rest of the guys.

“Plus, the coaches will be able to get a good feel for me and I’ll get a good feel for the college.”

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound four-star safety played mostly cornerback Saturday at the B2G Elite Camp. Towering over many of the other defensive backs in his class, Jackson doesn’t want to be confused as a linebacker prospect.

“I like to switch it up and show people I can still move around,” said Jackson. “I can play corner or safety, but a lot of people think I’m going to blow up and become a linebacker.

“I just want to prove that I have the ability to stay in the secondary. I play corner just to remind people how good my hips are.”

USC is recruiting Jackson as a safety, and he plans on making another unofficial visit to the Trojans campus next weekend for their Skills Camp to see the coaches in action.

“I speak with Coach (Keith) Heyward and Coach (Peter) Sirmon a lot,” said Jackson. “Coach Heyward checks in and sees how I’m doing — how my family is doing.

“I’m going down there on the 20th just to hang out with him a little bit. I might participate in the camp too, I’m not sure.

“I know if I go to USC I’m going to almost for sure line up at safety, so I do want to get a feel for how they would use me. I know they’re corner heavy, and actually use some of their corners to play safety.

“I went over the whole depth chart with Coach Heyward, so I know who they have and who they have coming in with the class of 2015. I know they need safeties, so that’s going to give me a good chance to come in and compete for a spot.”

Also participating in the B2G Elite Camp this weekend is USC committed running back and slot receiver, Melquise Stovall. Thursday, Stovall remarked that Jackson was one of the players he saw as a key recruit for USC.

“Yeah, he’s in my ear about USC,” laughed Jackson. “Coach Heyward says to recruit your class, so I respect that. Melquise is pretty chill about it, but he’ll throw SC in the conversation when he needs to.

“I also see Biggie (Iman Marshall) and Juju Smith are out here, so I can ask them about USC and keep doing my research.”

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