Down to Two

Down to Two

Lovejoy, Ga., tight end A.J. Jackson was scheduled to visit Tennessee this weekend but those plans have changed.


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"I was supposed to go to Tennessee this weekend, but I'm not going anymore," Jackson said about his upcoming plans. "They haven't been staying in contact the last few days so I'm not going to mess with them anymore. I've had Ole Miss and FSU at the top of my list for a while anyway. I was just going to give them a look because coach (Tommy) Thigpen is now at Tennessee."

Coach Thigpen was the coach at Auburn that recruited him for the Tigers. The newly hired linebacker coach at Tennessee was a big reason why he committed to Auburn.

"I really like coach Thigpen. He was definitely a factor in me committing to Auburn. I just know these other staffs a lot better at FSU and Ole Miss. They've been recruiting me the whole time. There isn't enough time to really get to know a new staff like I know Ole Miss and Florida State."

Jackson got a chance to get another look at the FSU campus last weekend.

"It was nice. I'd been there before a couple of times so I didn't just study it or anything like that. I just wanted to get to know the new coaches. I was trying to get to know them a little better. I wanted to learn what their new system was going to be like and all of that."

Will there be any changes in FSU's offense?

"They're going to make some changes on defense, but the offense is staying the same. They're still going to involve the tight end. They basically have three different types of tight ends at FSU. They have a blocking tight end, a H-Back tight end that goes out for some passes but does a lot of blocking, and then they have a flex tight end that goes out wide and is a dual threat. That's what they're recruiting me for. They want me to help spread the defenses out. That's how they'll use me."

What impressed Jackson the most about FSU?

"When the head coach took me back to his house and sat me down and told me how important I was to their class. That really impressed me. He took me over to his house twice to eat and talk. Coach (Jimbo) Fisher spent a lot of one-on-one time with me and that made me feel wanted."

Where did this visit leave FSU in the big recruiting picture?

"I'm really confused right now. I told coach Fisher that I was just confused between them and Ole Miss. He told me that he understood and to take my time but for me to know they are waiting on me when I'm ready to be a Nole."

Jackson has never been to Oxford. He has a lot of questions he wants answered when he goes on the trip.

"I want to learn about everything when I go down there. I want to learn all the pros and cons at Ole Miss. I want to learn about their academics. I want to know if I live up there if I'm going to be safe or not. I want to know how they treat their players during the offseason. I just want to learn everything there is to know when I go up there."

The one advantage Ole Miss has on its competition is the familiarity with their coaches.

"They're the only one who kept their whole staff intact. FSU got rid of all of the coaches who were recruiting me and my position coach. I got to get to know those guys better. The Ole Miss coaching staff sticks out to me the most. They're some good guys. They're always checking on me and checking up on my grades to make sure I'm staying on top of things. It's the little things they do. They really care about you outside of football. I just know their coaches better than everybody else."

The 6' 5 1/2", 240-pound tight end had several visitors come by his house this week.

"Pittsburgh and FSU came by Monday. Coach (Maurice) Harris (Ole Miss) came by my school Tuesday and then they came to my basketball game that night."

What did Pitt say?

"They're just trying to get me in for a visit. I don't know anything about Pittsburgh though."




Yancy Porter is the Mississippi Scout for Scout.com and he can be reached at yporter@scout.com

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