In a perfect world, Charles Jackson would very likely
already be a part of Texas’ 2011 recruiting class, especially after making two
unofficial visits to Austin in June to show his interest during Texas’
evaluation of defensive back recruits. The Longhorns appear to have gone in
another direction, and Jackson seems fine with that as a lot of options are in
front of the Klein Collins standout.
When it comes to talking about talented defensive backs
from the state of Texas in the class of 2011, Jackson is definitely at the
forefront of any discussion. The explosive playmaking ability possessed by the
5-foot-10, 173-pounder is enhanced by his tremendous work ethic and competitive
drive that has the ESPNU 150 member ranked as the No. 5 overall prospect in the
Inside Texas 2011 Top 100.
He has a skill set that would fit in nicely at a place like
Texas where a premium is placed on elite, playmaking and speedy defensive
backs. Jackson worked out for the Texas coaches on June 6 and made a return
trip to campus the following weekend hoping to land a long-coveted offer.
The Longhorns coaches however received a surprise
commitment from Oklahoma City (Okla.) Millwood cornerback Josh Turner and though
Jackson was in the running for a Longhorn offer, it appears as though Turner’s
verbal has Jackson checking out his other options.
That isn’t necessarily a bad spot to be in for Jackson,
who has offers from the likes of Cal, Florida, Nebraska and Oklahoma among
others. There have been reports that have suggested Jackson is not happy (and
to some extent bitter) about the way things worked out between he and the
Jackson said that’s far from the truth as he values the
chance got to work with Duane Akina and Will Muschamp and said he feels the
situation will work out for all parties in the end.
“It’s cool,” Jackson said. “Obviously they picked Josh
Turner over me, so good luck to them and good luck to him.”
Working through the recruiting process had been one of
the many things on Jackson’s plate this summer. He’s been putting himself
through 6 a.m. workouts every day and after that he’s taking summer school
classes the rest of the day.
Jackson is doing great in the classroom and the extra
work not only has his high school GPA looking good, but he could very well be
in a position to graduate early and enroll in the college of his choice in
December if he chooses that path.
It’s been a long summer, but Jackson said the work has
been well worth it as he is starting to see everything come to fruition.
“My summer has been awesome,” Jackson said. “Everything
is paying off for me, so I don’t have a problem with it.”
In fact, Jackson has been so busy with recruiting, school
work and mixing in workouts on his own that he hadn’t had a ton of prep time to
get to work with the Klein Collins 7-on-7 team before the Tigers participated
in the 7-on-7 State Tournament in College Station over the weekend. Jackson
said the four days he got to spend with his teammates and focus on nothing but
Klein Collins football to get ready for the tournament was like a breath of
“I think that was cool,” Jackson said. “It felt like I
was back at home.”
Despite having a lockdown defender in Jackson, a
sparkplug playmaker in 2012 athlete Shane Rhoades and perhaps the state’s top
2013 prospect in running back Marcus Goodson (the younger brother of former
Texas A&M running back Mike Goodson), the Tigers struggled at state falling
into the consolation bracket after Friday’s pool play action and then losing
their lone game of the day on Saturday.
Jackson said he was a little frustrated with the way
things ended, but he said the experience of getting to go on the road with his
teammates is something that should help the Tigers grow stronger.
“It’s awesome,” Jackson said. “It gives the team more time
to spend with each other and it gives us a good chance to get together before
the season starts.”
As far his recruitment goes, Jackson doesn’t anticipate being
on the market much longer. The latest offer for the elite cornerback prospect
came on Sunday when he popped off a 4.46 and 4.38, respectively, in the 40-yard
dash at Texas A&M’s one-day camp prompting Mike Sherman and the Aggies to
send an offer his way.
He said he’s planning on visiting Florida for the Gators
Friday Night Lights camp next weekend and is planning to visit LSU on his way
back to Houston. There’s also a chance that Alabama, Arkansas and Oklahoma
could be possible visit destinations for Jackson before he makes his college
While he might not yet know where he’s going, Jackson
said he already knows when he’ll announce his decision.
“I’m close to committing,” Jackson said. “I’ve decided to
commit the day before my birthday, or on my birthday, which is Aug. 16. I’ll
have a firm commitment at that time.”
A Texas offer is one that very few kids outside of the
Lone Star State ever get the chance to receive, and the same can be said for
Florida. Urban Meyer and the Gator coaching staff offered Jackson during the
evaluation period and Jackson said the fact that the Gators were interested
enough to offer is truly exciting.
“I was fired up,” Jackson said. “I don’t get tired of the
recruiting process. A lot of people don’t get to experience it, so I’m just
trying to enjoy it.”
With his decision timeframe locked in, Jackson will have
his decision out of the way by the time Klein Collins takes the field for its
first game of the 2010 season. The Tigers are picked by many to win District
13-5A for the second straight season and with Jackson on defense and Longhorn
commit Garrett Greenlea on offense, the Tigers are not short on talent even
after graduating some key members from last year’s 12-1 team that went three
rounds deep in the playoffs.
For Jackson, his senior year can’t get here fast enough.
“I’m always ready,” Jackson said. “I’m ready to go right