"Recruiting with Arizona State
is going well," said the 6-3 205 Diante Jackson
. "They've been recruiting me from before spring practice and they offered me a scholarship then. My Head Coach, Coach Longero, knows (ASU running backs) Coach Christian from Arizona State who's recruiting me – they're longtime friends who grew up together. So Coach Longero tells me a lot about Arizona State and Coach Christian."
"That's what recruiting is about – relationships. So it's good that I'm really getting to know Coach Christian as a person."
Jackson added that he was looking forward to also meeting ASU's Wide Receivers Coach Eric Yarber who Jackson said has a great pedigree coaching "the best of the best" in receivers such as Chad Johnson
, T.J. Houshmanzada, and Terrell Owens
Jackson believes that the Sun Devils are an "up and coming team" that should be ranked the nation's Top 15. "It will be a good place to play," he said. "I know it gets hot, but they have the indoor practice facility so that's a plus."
The wide receiver did watch the maroon and gold in action a few times last year and when asked what caught his eye the most concerning the ASU offense he answered without hesitation: "Mike Jones
– he's a big time receiver," said Jackson. "They throw the ball a lot, they're fast and they came to play every game and they played hard no matter what the outcome was."
As a junior, Jackson hauled in 65 catches for 1,283 yards and 19 TDs. He had 17 receptions and 260 yards with a pair of touchdowns in the final two playoff games. He earned First Team All-Bay Area honors, second team All-Metro ("that was bogus because only seniors got first team and age shouldn't matter"), and second team All-State.
"I don't think we get a lot of respect here in Northern California," Jackson claimed. "But I'm looking towards the future, and working just to be the best."
Las Lomas went 13-1 losing only in the division championship finals. "Last year we won the league championship, the East Bay championship…we were probably the best team ever at our school," said Jackson. "We had a lot of talent last year, and this year we have to come together more than we did last year because we lost some good players…I just want to stay healthy and just help my team get to the championship."
Jackson was clocked running the 40-yard dash at a 4.5, and in track he ran the 200m ("without really practicing for it") at a time of 22.70. The wide receiver stated that he's gotten stronger and bulked up to 205lbs. In the weight room Jackson squats 420 lbs.; power cleans 265 lbs., and bench presses 270 lbs.
The wide receiver also enjoys playing centerfielder for his high school's baseball team, and if possible would like to play both sports in college.
, Cal, Washington
, Washington State
, Oregon State
, Boise State
are just some of the 18 scholarship offers Jackson has collected along with ASU. "Oklahoma
hasn't offered me but they're recruiting me pretty hard," Jackson noted. "Alabama
was recruiting me also, but I haven't heard from them in a while."
Aside an unofficial visit to Colorado last month, Jackson hasn't taken any other trips in the spring, nor did he participate in any combines ("I was busy doing track"). He doesn't have any dates for official visits in the fall or winter, but said that "I'm most definitely gonna visit Arizona State, and visit Colorado and Oregon. Maybe Nebraska too. I don't know what other schools I'm gonna visit."
"I don't have any favorites now, because you really can't go by what you see on a computer. You really need to visit the school and see what it's all about."
When it's time for Jackson to make his verbal commitment, Jackson once again puts a high value on the social aspect. "I have to have a good relationship with my receivers coach and the other players," he said. "I need to know who I'm gonna be around for the next four years. I'm looking for a school with a great support staff that's gonna support me on and off the field."
Jackson stated that he'll probably won't commit early in the season since "I want to see all the different schools that are out there."
With a reported 18 scholarship offers, each school pursuing wide receiver Diante Jackson is naturally looking for an edge that would separate them from the pack. The Las Lomas HS star from Walnut Creek, Calif. doesn't have a short list yet, but told Devils Digest that ASU already has some factors in its favor.