ATLANTA - According to Arshad Jackson, a tight end/defensive end from Hampton (Ga.) Lovejoy, his friends and family often seem surprised when he tells them he's currently favoring Virginia.
But to Jackson, who is competing in this week's RisingSeniors.com Georgia Junior Bowl, the Cavaliers seem like an ideal fit.
"I really like their program," Jackson said Tuesday. "Every tight end that went there has been successful. They have a nice little school where people graduate. And every time I go up there they show a lot of love."
Jackson is so fond of Virginia, he said he's "close" to committing, and an announcement could come as early as this spring.
"I've been up there a couple times," the 6-feet-6, 205-pound Jackson said. "I love it. Every time I come I feel like it's family."
The Cavaliers apparently have been sitting in the driver's seat since being the first school to offer Jackson, who thinks he will play tight end in college.
"It's really been Virginia since Day 1," Jackson said. "They call my coach every game to see how I do, how I'm doing in school, how my family is doing. They show a lot of interest."
Jackson also has offers from Arkansas, Michigan State, Mississippi State and Purdue, he said. He thinks Georgia could be next. Auburn also is showing strong interest.
CLEMSON EARLY LEADER FOR DT
You'll have to forgive Montravius Adams of Vienna (Ga.) Dooly County if he feels as if he has something to prove this week. That's because he's still somewhat of an unknown commodity to a lot of people.
In fact ...
"When I came here, I talked to some of the players and they didn't even know where Dooly County was at," Adams said. "If I do good in the game, they'll know."
For Adams, a 6-3, 290-pounder, this week also is an opportunity to fine-tune his game.
"I hope to learn some skills and get better," he said. "I know if I can do good, I've got a good chance at it at the college level."
Though he has interest from several colleges, thus far only Clemson has offered. And on Tuesday, Adams said the Tigers were at the top of his list.
"They offered earlier this year," Adams said. "I've been there a couple times. Once just to visit and once for a game. I went to the game when they played Florida State. I liked it. It was loud and they've got good fans. And I'd like to be there. They're pretty much my favorite. I've thought about [committing]. I'm close."
Who else is showing interest in Adams, who performed well Tuesday at practice and had 45 tackles for loss in 2011?
"Alabama, Auburn, Oklahoma State, Tennessee, Florida State, Florida, Georgia and a couple more," Adams said.
Adams added that he wouldn't be shocked if offers came soon from Alabama, Auburn, Florida and Georgia. This spring, he hopes to visit the Tide, Bulldogs and LSU.
JONES NOT RUSHING THINGS
It has been a memorable year for Marietta (Ga.) Walton junior running back Tyren Jones.
He rushed for more than 2,000 yard, led his team to a state runner-up finish and is one of the Peach State's most coveted class-of-2013 prospects. As of Tuesday, the 5-8, 185-pounder had offers from Duke, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State and Vanderbilt. According to Jones, Oklahoma State is showing the most interest.
At this stage, he claims to have no leaders.
"Right now, I'm just looking," Jones said.
That said, Jones admitted one offer stood out.
"I have to say Georgia," Jones said. "I really like Georgia."
Given the season Jones had and the skills he has displayed, it's probably safe to assume more offers could be on the way. And Jones thinks he knows who possibly might be next to pull the trigger.
"I'd probably say Florida or Michigan," he said.
This fall, Jones visited Georgia and Georgia Tech. He said he enjoyed both places, particularly the time he spent talking about the academics and watching the games.
After the Junior Bowl he hopes to take in junior days at Florida and Georgia.
ODDS & ENDS
Offensive tackle Shamire DeVine of East Point (Ga.) Tri Cities is one of the South's most coveted linemen in his class. He recently added an offer from Florida and thinks Alabama might soon join the club. Of the Tide, he said, "They've been sending me a lot of mail - a lot of hand-written mail."
Athlete J.J. Green of Camden County (Ga.), who was a star receiver, running back and cornerback in 2011, is still waiting for offer No. 1. His size (he's only 5-9, 170 pounds) is likely the holdup. The good news for Green is that several teams are showing interest, and he thinks Georgia Tech is "close" to offering.
Kicker Harrison Butker of Atlanta Westminster, who made 16 of 17 field-goal attempts in 2011, is rated as the No. 2 kicker nationally by Prokicker.com but has yet to receive any offers. He plans to attend a few well-known kicking camps early next year, which he hopes will drum up some interest.