Making a sunny summer trip to the other side of the country is fun. Returning for a rain-filled trip with your mother means business.
Montgomery (Ala.) Jefferson Davis defensive lineman Alec Jackson visited USC for the Rising Stars Camp in the summer and had a great trip, saying at the time that he “knew it was going to be nice, but it was beautiful.”
Fast forward five months and Jackson was back in Los Angeles with family, including his mother, for a USC official visit.
“They showed me a great time,” Jackson said. “They really explained to me a lot in how the school is top notch in not just football, but in their education too.”
“They really went into more detail about the educational program. They really showed me how their rankings were, all their programs and how much it originally costs and all that.
“I caught the last part of that when we walked in. At first, they were really giving the lecture to our parents and all that, but at the same time, I was still paying attention to all the stuff they were saying.”
Jackson’s mother was also intrigued by the educational presentation and learning more about the university along with the football team.
“My mom, she really enjoyed herself on the visit as much as I did. She really didn't know too much about USC for real. Just off the movies and stuff, but her opinion really changed about the school.”
His mother has also allowed one hurdle of a potential commitment from Jackson to USC be cleared. Whether he eventually chooses USC or any other school outside of Alabama — Texas, North Carolina State, Ole Miss and Florida are other out-of-state schools heavily pursuing Jackson, along with Auburn in-state — Jackson’s mother has already given her blessing for him to leave the nest and go as far or as near as needed to pursue his football dreams.
“She said that, 'It's not up to me. It's to you,’” Jackson said. “It's three to four years, so she understands already. So I just thank her for that.”
Jackson got a little taste of home when he was hosted by former Saraland (Ala.) receiver Velus Jones Jr., who is spending his first year at USC redshirting. Jones was hoping he would be able to make an immediate impact as a freshman, but he’s enjoying himself nonetheless.
“He was telling me how a lot of stuff changed for him, but he's still having a good time and it was one of the best decisions that he made. So I already took that into consideration.”
Not only did Jackson pick Jones’ brain, he also talked to many of the other official visitors about their backgrounds. USC’s group of nine official visitors included players raised in eight different states from Hawaii to Alaska to Indiana to the West Coast states and Jackson’s Alabama.
He chatted with the one USC commit on his official visit, Andrew Vorhees, along with other Trojan commits that were at the game on Saturday as unofficial visitors. Jackson wanted to know why they chose USC, how they felt when they made the decision and confident they are in the coaching staff.
“USC is one of the top schools I'm considering. They are one of the schools that I would like to go to and play for, so I took that far of a trip. I really am confident in going up there and seeing how the players connect and click with me and all the [other recruits] that was up there.”
Jackson is a versatile defensive lineman at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds. Rated the No. 39 defensive end in the country, Jackson finished the season with 60 tackles, nine for a loss, six sacks and six quarterback hurries this year, according to MaxPreps. But he did that while playing primarily defensive tackle due to team need. He also played some nose tackle as well as defensive end. Jackson spent time talking with defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze about how he would fit in for the Trojans.
“He always said that they have a couple d-linemen leaving and I could have a great impact if I come and try earning the spot where I could play early, so that really gave me a good heads up on the schools that I could have a chance to play at early.”
With USC being Jackson’s first official visit, he plans to take his time. He said he is unlikely to make a commitment until National Signing Day in February.
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