A lot of high school juniors have spent the summer going to high school summer camps around the country, taking multiple unofficial visits and trying to narrow down a scholarship list to a manageable number before committing to a college before the start of their senior high school season.
All Jackson has had to do is sit back, enjoy the huge weight being off his shoulders and fill confident that his decision to play football at the University of Wisconsin was the perfect fit.
"It's been a great summer because I agree with my decision 100 percent," Jackson told Badger Nation. "It's so much easier now because I don't have other things to worry about. I can focus on just getting better and getting ready for next season."
Jackson, a 6-foot, 190-pound four-star running back from Kenosha Bradford High School, committed to Wisconsin after visiting the Badgers for a spring practice March 26. After running for 956 yards on 14.1 yards per carry and 13 touchdowns his junior season, Jackson was recruited as UW's only scholarship running back in the class of 2012.
With former teammate Melvin Gordon heading to UW, Jackson will be the Red Devils' starting running back, and he's used his the time he would have spent going to camps this summer working on building up his strength, maintaining his speed and staying competitive with the track season.
"I've definitely decided to put on some weight, about five solid pounds, but in putting on that weight, I've wanted to maintain my speed and be more explosive," Jackson said. "The track season helps with my form. I didn't realize how bad my form was until I joined track. I think my speed has really improved, too, by running the 100 meter (in 11 seconds). It makes the 40-yard dash feel like nothing."
Jackson was able to show off those improvements during Wisconsin's second high school summer camp. After only going to a camp with some of his teammates during the summer, Jackson was fresh during the one-day camp, and able to make a good impression with new running back coach Thomas Hammock.
"I think the most important thing was getting coaches up by Coach Hammock and see how he was going to coach me during my four years after high school," Jackson said. "It was important to me because last year I worked with Coach Settle, who has moved on now. Coach Hammock is a very good coach.
"When I go to the campus, they are all happy to see me. I really feel like family."
When Jackson committed, he held offers from Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern. Since then, Jackson says no new school has come into the picture and that all his recruiting coaches have respected his decision. Better yet, he's watched the UW coaching staff add four other four-star recruits to what is becoming an impressive 2012 recruiting class.
"The team is going to continue to be very good, especially with the recruits we are getting," Jackson said. "I know after the camp they got a bunch of a new guys coming in as well. It's going to fun."