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Jefferson (La.) Riverdale four-star athlete Donte Jackson continues to sort through the recruiting process. He holds offers from across the country, and he has been working hard to check out his options.
"I'm still trying to make it to some unofficial visits," Jackson said. "I'm still trying to make it to Ole Miss for an unofficial. I'm still trying to see if I can get to Dawg Night in Athens. For the whole recruiting thing I'm really undeclared and still taking everything in right now. I've been doing a lot of traveling so I've just been working out and just trying to stay humble and finish everything off before I start thinking about my decision and stuff."
In addition to trips to Ole Miss and Georgia, Jackson is also trying to make his way to Florida State.
"No, I didn't make it out there yet," Jackson said. "I'm still trying to see if I can make it to the camp coming up in Tallahassee because I've been talking to coach Sanders. He's been talking to my coach and trying to see if they can get me out there for the camp that's coming."
He has been able to check out Texas A&M and LSU this summer, and the two programs have landed firmly in his current top five. However, just because a school is currently in his top five does not mean they will stay there.
"Yeah I have a top five, but I have some teams sneaking in and coming up and making a huge, huge push and probably could be in my top five because some teams are probably going to fall out and I can see I have a couple of teams that are probably going to sneak in my top five before this whole thing is over," Jackson said.
"I have Georgia as my No. 1 still. I have a real good relationship with coach Pruitt and coach Richt, we talk a lot. He makes sure we talk like every other week and stuff like that. I have LSU close behind Georgia. And I have Oregon up there in my top five, but I'm not sure how long they're going to last. I have Texas A&M up there in my top five and I have Florida State.
"But like I said I have some teams making a push and who I'm really feeling. Texas Tech, they're making a huge push. They could probably sneak into my top five before everything is over. Ole Miss is probably going to sneak into it. And UCLA."
There is one big reason Texas Tech is on the rise for Jackson.
"Coach Curtis, coach Kevin Curtis. Me and him, we have a really good relationship," Jackson said. "We talk, I can honestly say every day. Whether it's on the phone or on Twitter, he makes sure we talk every day. And I know I have a good relationship with him right now and he's the defensive backs coach and if I was to choose to go there he's the guy I would be with most of the time. And that's always a plus if I can have a relationship with you outside of football and know that you're my position coach. That's why Texas Tech has come up. Just because of coach Curtis. And I'm a huge fan of coach Kingsbury."
The Ole Miss Rebels are also being led by a strong coaching presence.
"Coach Heard, the receivers coach, and I talk to the DBs coach a lot," Jackson said. "We talk through Twitter and we talk on the phone and stuff and they have explained my role. He wants me to be an every down corner and also get some playing time on offense. So you know you can't go wrong with that. It's in the SEC. I've just liking all the good the stuff they've been telling me and keeping my hopes high."
While the likes of Ole Miss, Texas Tech, and UCLA are making a push, Georgia remains at the top for several reasons. However, his relationship with the coaches has been a very big factor.
"Well, coach Pruitt. Me and him, we have a real, real close relationship," Jackson said. "I actually have a relationship with his wife. I talk to Mrs. Casey a lot. And I know he's recruiting me, and he stresses this a lot, he's recruiting me to come in and play early.
"They're going to have a senior cornerback this year in Damian Swann, and I know he's going to be looking for a young speedy guy who can just come in and just take off one side of the field. He told me I'm recruiting you to come in and be a huge impact on my defense. And I know for a fact I can trust him. I can trust him with my decision. I can trust him with my playing time. I can trust him with possibly even starting.
"He's just been telling me everything and leading me on a right path. And he's the defensive coordinator so most of the time whatever he says goes when it comes to the defense. So I know I can have a role in the return game. They've just been telling me all that and letting me know they're going to have a spot because Damian Swann is going to be a senior this year. I can come in and make a huge push for that starting job and I know he has a history of playing guys early."
Before making his decision Jackson plans to take his official visits and right now he is "pretty sure" he will take official visits to LSU, Georgia, and Oregon. In fact one date has already been scheduled.
"I have one date setup and that's for LSU," Jackson said. "They play Alabama on November 8 and that's my birthday. And what game is better catch than the LSU and Alabama game on your birthday. So I kind of have that date locked in."
He also has a pretty good idea about another official visit.
"I'm looking at the Georgia weekend for the Auburn game," Jackson said. "I know it's an official, but I kind of want to see a good game. I'm just trying to go down the game schedule and see what games I would be interested in watching. I don't want to see anybody get blown out. I just want to see probably a conference game or probably Georgia/Georgia Tech or something like that."
Jackson is currently ranked No. 12 among the nation's athletes and is ranked No. 11 in the Rivals.com Louisiana Preseason Top 50.
Jason Howell is the Midlands Region football recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. You can click here to follow him on Twitter.
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