July 21, 2008
Jackson impressed by Sun Devil coaches
Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson and wide receivers coach Eric Yarber have earned a reputation for coaching some of the best wide receivers in all of football over the last decade.
When they were at Oregon State they signed and developed Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh and while coaching the San Francisco 49'ers Terrell Owens totaled over 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career.
A track record like goes a long way with attracting recruits to Arizona State. The 6-foot-2, 205pound wide receiver from Walnut Creek (Calif.) Las Lomas, Diante Jackson, is one of those recruits who have been impressed.
Jackson is currently working out and playing outfield on the weekends for a local summer baseball team. He gave up high school baseball last spring to run track for Las Lomas.
Arizona State, Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, Washington State and San Jose State are some of the 18 schools that have reportedly offered the talented athlete a scholarship.
"Recruiting is going well right now. It's slower than it was when school was in but I am still getting some mail and emails," Jackson said. "I am hearing the most from Oregon State, Oregon, Washington State, Colorado, San Jose State and ASU."
Jackson, who is currently rated as the 36th best player in California according to Rivals.com, is in the process of determining which schools he will officially visit this fall.
"I have not totally decided yet, I will have all that made up next week," Jackson said. "This upcoming Friday I am meeting with my Head Coach, Coach Longero to figure all of that out. I also know for sure that I going to unofficially visit both Oregon and Oregon State the second week in August. I already have the tickets and we have all of that situated. I do know for a fact that I am going to officially visit Arizona State."
"I got to watch [ASU] a lot last season, they are an up and coming football team," Jackson said. "They know how to throw the football. They have a phenomenal coach with Coach Erickson. They always come ready to play. It is also a nice place to play and they have a nice atmosphere there."
One of Jackson's favorite college players is a current Sun Devil wide receiver who also spends his summers patrolling the outfield.
"One of my favorite players is Mike Jones," Jackson said. "I heard he is playing for the Yankees this summer. I think we have some similarities. We both play center field and wide receiver. We have similar games but I would say he is faster than I am right now."
Jackson also has another connection to Arizona State.
"Coach Christian, who is the coach recruiting me, is family friends with my head coach. They went to middle school and high school together," Jackson said. "I have also talked to Coach Yarber once already and I have heard a lot of great things about him. I know all about the different athletes he has coached. I am looking forward to meeting him and being able to talk to him face to face."
As a junior, Jackson had 65 receptions totaling 1,283 yards and 19 touchdowns, leading Las Lomas to a 13-1 record and earning first-team All-Bay Area honors as well as being named second-team all-state.
"We should be good, we look solid and I expect us to be scrappy," Jackson said. "I want to lead my team to the state championship and to stay healthy because that there is the key to the whole process. I want to be out there to make the plays that seal up the game in the fourth quarter."
Jackson plans on taking all of his official visits in September and October and then making his final decision. He already knows what he will be looking for from the schools he ends up visiting.
"The major thing will be the atmosphere, by that I mean the people that are there (and)can I get along with them," he said. "The academic advisors will also be important, because wherever I go I am going to be looking for support on the field and off the field. A real big thing is going to be the wide receivers coach. It's kind of like what I said before, is he going to help me as an athlete and as a person?"
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