Austin Jackson rises for offer

Offensive tackle Austin Jackson came to USC the definition of a rising star and did not disappoint the Trojans coaching staff.

Phoenix (Ariz.) North Canyon junior offensive tackle Austin Jackson came to USC with a wealth of knowledge about the Trojans football tradition. He left USC with something even better.

“It was right after one-on-one drills, coach (Bob Connelly) pulled me aside to talk to me,” said Jackson. “He said he liked how I was playing and that he might have some exciting news.

“Then we got into the team period and then Coach (Steve) Sarkisian came over and put his hands on my shoulders to tell me I had a scholarship offer.

“It was very exciting to hear that. My whole family is really big on USC. My grandfather played there and won national championships for them in ’72 and ’74.  I also have a bunch of cousins that have gone to USC and gotten master degrees.”

While Jackson’s family has history with USC, he now looks forward to writing his own history as a student-athlete. His trip to Los Angeles for Rising Stars has done nothing to hurt USC in that respect.

“Well starting from the top, I got really good hands-on experience working with the offensive line coach tightening up my skills,” said Jackson. “Then you have the academics. The alumni support and their tradition is set up really nicely.

“They also produce a lot of athletes that go on to the NFL. They have a lot of great people coming to compete here, so it’s just a great atmosphere.”

Jackson will unofficially visit USC Thursday to take a full tour of the campus and meet with the coaching staff.

“I do want to get to know the coaches a lot more and build some relationships up with the players,” said Jackson. “There’s more I can find out about USC.”

Jackson measured in at 6-foot-5, 268-pounds on Wednesday. While the coaching staff didn’t go into much detail about whether they will recruit Jackson as a left or right tackle, offensive line coach Bob Connelly did share some compliments he had with the junior standout.

“He said he really likes my aggressiveness and my punch,” said Jackson. “He said I was a very coachable athlete who is able to process things.”

Jackson has the profile of a quick commit for USC, but instead he wants to weighs his options and take his time with recruiting.

Jackson already boasts scholarship offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Boston College, Oregon, Texas A&M, Michigan, Washington, Washington State and Utah.

“I’m young and you only get to go through the recruiting process once in your life,” said Jackson. “I need to take visits and really know what’s out there before I make a decision on a college, so I’m in no rush.

“USC is definitely up there for me, but I’m going to take some more trips to know where they stand.”

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