The last two months have been unpredictable and unparalleled in many ways. The coronavirus pandemic has changed day to day life for Americans and citizens of most countries around the world. Along with many businesses and events being closed and canceled respectively, NCAA recruiting visits have also been put on hold. However, despite all the shutdowns and slowdowns going on in life, Ian Jackson's recruitment continues to gain momentum during this time.
In the past two months, Ian Jackson has received offers from Florida State, Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Truly a who's who of college football lure. Jackson, a 6'1" 208 pound, 4-Star outside linebacker from Prattville, Alabama, has tremendous athleticism. The rising senior used that athleticism to live in opponents' backfields in 2019 to the tune of 18 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks.
While the restrictions, such as social distancing, that have been imposed nationwide are certainly unfortunate, Jackson communicated to the Bulldog Maven on SI.com that there is a silver lining to the time spent at home. "It's actually given us (Jackson and his family) more time and puts me in a better place to think. With all of the recruiting visits shutdown, I can think more about when I'm going to make my decision and when I'm going to narrow things down, stuff like that. It's been good for us, I hate that it happened this way, but the time to slow down has been good," said Jackson.
In terms of the relationship with Georgia, Jackson indicated that the relationship has been growing for a little while and that Coach Glenn Schumann was the initial contact that he had with the program. Jackson stated that leading up to the offer, "I had been talking to Coach Schumann for a couple of months. He had come by the school during the last contact period and talked to me. They wanted me to come on campus for their junior day, but with all the Coronavirus and all of this going on, we just didn't know if it was the best time to go and it kind of got delayed. We kept talking though and they went ahead and pulled the trigger and offered."
Ian has also talked to Georgia's new Special Teams Coordinator and former Alabama Strength Coach Scott Cochran. Cochran and Jackson first starting building their relationship during the ladder part of Cochran's tenure with the Crimson Tide. According to Jackson, he was, "caught off guard when he (Cochran) left Alabama." Jackson went on to say, "It's a great opportunity for him and he's a great guy. He had a purpose and a desire to be the best when he was at Alabama and now he has a plan to help Georgia be the best team. So it was definitely a hire that caught my eye and he has a relationship with me and my family, so that's good."
Speaking of family, there are a lot of SEC ties in and around Ian Jackson and his family. For Ian, it's kind of a rivalry atmosphere at times with his mother being an Auburn alumnus and former Tigerette, his sister currently going to Auburn, and his step-father having attended Georgia and played baseball. So it's fair to say the family is split on its college loyalties. Jackson's high school baseball coach also played at the University of Georgia. With that being said, Jackson alluded that even though he lives in Alabama and has family ties to Auburn, it's not set in stone that he'll be playing his college ball inside the Yellowhammer State.
Linebacker is going to be a position of need for the Dawgs in the 2021 class after an expected departure of a large amount of production from that position after the completion of the 2020 season. This has factored into the talks Schumann has had with the 4-Star. Jackson explained, "He has mentioned it to me before, the opportunity and need at my position, but at the same time, he and Coach Cochran have both talked more so about how it's the best player on the field. That's who will play. That's flat out it. You have to be the best in order to play and get on the field. I believe in working hard and having to beat the man in front of you to be on the field and get that playing time."
In terms of what is of the utmost importance to Ian and the remainder of his recruitment, that was clearly the aspects of life that come after football. Wise beyond his years, the versatile and impressive prospect fully understands that everyone's playing days come to an end at some point. Ian told me that looking for a place, "that understands it is bigger than football. It all comes to an end one day and you have to have a plan for the future. Whoever shows they care about me and what's next for me and has that family feel, that 's the school you want. A school that is looking at my future and helping me plan for that will be a very good thing."
Finally, Ian is in no hurry, he doesn't feel the need to rush through the process. Especially with all of the craziness going on in the world and in recruiting, Jackson wants to take a day by day approach. He does hope to narrow things down to a top group of five or six sooner rather than later, but no commitment seems imminent. Even though Ian lives in the heart of Alabama, it's clear to see that Georgia and other college football powers are going to have a fair shot at this talented and level headed prospect going forward.
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