DE Christopher (CJ) Jackson (6-4 220) of Tucker, GA has long held Clemson high up on a pedestal in his recruiting process because the Tigers were one of the first major programs to recognize him with an offer. South Carolina was not as quick to get on Jackson, but now defensive ends coach Sterling Lucas has made a play for him, and Jackson is considering a visit to Columbia this week.
“Coach Lucas text me all the time, I get on the phone with him and we’ve built a good relationship,” Jackson said. “It’s no nervousness or butterflies any more, just straight up back and forth, we talk like we’ve been knowing each other. Since he offered me, I’ve got that vibe that he’s a pretty cool guy and I’m actually very excited to go up there. Of course, any big time SEC school, I’m interested.”
As of Monday night, Jackson had not pinned down his plans for this week. He said he might visit USC Thursday, or it might be Saturday for their spring game. But the Clemson spring game is also Saturday, so he might visit USC Thursday and Clemson Saturday. His plans largely depend on his mother’s work schedule.
As for Clemson, Jackson said defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall has been very close to him for years, and the two remain so.
“Me and Coach Hall have built a great relationship since early on in my recruiting process, and even before my first offer,” Jackson said. “January 28th was my last time going up there, but my mom works hard and Coach Hall knows that, so I can’t really get up there all the time, but he knows that I’m very interested in Clemson. Always watched them growing up as a kid and told them that. Me and him, we’ve had our personal talks, it’s not always about football, and that’s one thing I love about him. Me and Coach Hall, we’ve got a great relationship. I’m going back soon; I just don’t know a date yet.”
Jackson added that Clemson is certainly one of the schools he considers to be among his favorite group right now.
“I feel like they are top seven for sure, maybe even top five,” Jackson said. “Like I said, them being there the whole time during my recruiting process, they don’t really offer a lot of guys, and the fact they took a chance on me on an unknown guy with just a couple of offers, that really meant a lot to me. Me and Coach Hall been building that relationship from early on in my recruiting process. They always stand pretty high.”
High enough to be number one on his list at this point?
“Number one? I can’t give out a number one,” Jackson said. “I kind of have one in mind. They took a little lead, but I don’t want to say it yet.”
Jackson said others high up with him right now would be Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and Colorado. Jackson just recently made visits to Georgia, Georgia Tech and LSU, and really liked the visit to Baton Rouge. He also went to Alabama for a junior day in early March, and he plans to take a visit to Auburn.
He wants to make his decision in late July or early August.