October 13, 2011

Jackson sets visits

Scottsdale Community College tight end Blake Jackson is set to graduate in December, and with his commitment deadline quickly approaching, the Atlanta native has filled up his calendar with official visits to three more programs.

The JUCO prospect, who already took his first official to Miami over the summer, will soon be headed to Arkansas (Nov. 11), Georgia (Nov. 18), and Oklahoma State (Dec. 2) to round out what he said could be the last of his official visits before making a decision. His previously scheduled trip to Missouri, but it was given a rain check.

The talented tight end elaborated on his reasoning behind why these particular programs made the cut.

"I knew I definitely wanted to go back to Arkansas. They have been one the schools that have been there from the start, and that is a school that I definitely have that family feeling and I feel that I fit well there, and obviously their coach has a great tradition with tight ends," Jackson said. "Oklahoma State is another school that is playing very well right now. They have a dynamic offense, so they throw the ball around a lot.

"And then Georgia, I mean, going back home, being able to play in front of my dad," continued Jackson. "Obviously they have the tight ends that will be getting drafted this year, so I'm excited about taking that trip and getting excited for them also. This will definitely be my first time seeing a game. I have never got to see them play before. I'm excited."

The 6-foot-4, 235-pound standout said he is still in close contact with about 10 other schools, and said he is leaving a spot open for that final official just in case.

The only thing Jackson said he was certain of was that he will be making his decision by mid-December at the latest - but that doesn't mean he can't make it much sooner.

"I don't have them ranked or anything, I'm not looking at it like that right now, but I think I have an idea, and then I'm going to take these visits and see how these visits go," Jackson said. "I would plan to make my commitment on December 15, but if I have the right feeling, and it was the right spot for me, then I wouldn't hesitate to make it happen, or at least let the coaches know that that was where I was going to play football at."

Whether or not Jackson pulls the trigger on any of his trips will remain to be seen, but if he were to feel that way about Athens, his close and consistent contact with coach Mark Richt would make it easy for him to let Richt know his decision during one of their almost daily chats.

"I talk to the head coach, Coach Richt, two days ago, and we've been keeping up on Facebook almost every day. So, I've been keeping in pretty good contact even though I'm busy with school and football," Jackson said. "They have been having a really good year, I mean, coach Richt was just talking about how they are starting to build some confidence and have a chance to win an SEC championship. I know everybody is really excited about that out there."

Jackson too is excited about the whole process, but said for now he has his school work and trying to get his team back in on the winning track. He isn't too concerned about offers, most recently receiving his 16th from Colorado, but rather on focusing on himself as a player to be in impact player wherever he ends up.

"I feel like I've become more of a play maker this year. I definitely got better at my run-blocking," Jackson said. "I've really matured as a leader also."

Jackson is the No. 1 tight end and the 18th overall player in Rivals' JUCO top 50 2012 prospect rankings.

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