October 2, 2008

Jackson still looking at three options

Walnut Creek (Calif.) Las Lomas receiver Diante Jackson has narrowed his list to three colleges with a decision likely this month. Jackson has visited all three of his finalists, and spoke with ASUDevils.com about where Arizona State fits into his deliberations.

Jackson most recently took an official visit to Tempe for the Sun Devils' game against Georgia. It was his second official trip, following up on Oregon several weeks earlier. Jackson visited Colorado unofficially earlier this year and was expected to visit the school officially this week, but an illness led him to cancel that trip. It's unclear if he will re-schedule it, but ASU, Colorado and Oregon comprise his final three.

"I really wanted to go to Colorado for my official but I've been sick. I got a flu with a high fever so that's probably not a good idea," Jackson said. "I'm just starting to get over being sick."

Even though he felt poorly last week as well, Jackson was still convinced by those around him to play in the Kinghts' game against Rocklin. It was a good think he did, as Los Lomas needed his huge performance in the 45-41 win, which included 12 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown, and a game clinching interception in the final minute.

"The doctor said I probably made [the illness] worse by playing," Jackson said. "I didn't really feel up to it but I still ended up having a really big game. It was good to be out there helping my teammates."

The Knights are 3-1 on the season, with a 29-9 loss to California High School in San Ramon, Calif., as the only setback thus far.

"We lost to a good team," Jackson said "We just mentally broke down and gave them that game though. We're young and we had some people started to line up wrong, things like that. We're getting better as we go and I think we can still win a championship."

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Jackson said he's been starting to think more about the three schools he's focused on, especially after his recent visit to Arizona State.

"That was the only one of the three I hadn't seen yet," Jackson said. "I had a real good time there. "It was a fun place to be and it was a hostile environment (for the visiting team) being out there. Seeing all those gold shirts everywhere, it was off the hook. It was kind of better than I expected.

I thought it would be good but it was real good. I liked the love from the fans and everything, I liked the coaches and the people were cool and very outgoing, I liked the doors and the whole vibe there. I thought it would be like all desert but it really wasn't like that. Mike Jones was my host and he was a real cool dude. He showed me around Scottsdale and Tempe and I got to see a lot of stuff out there. He told me a lot about the school and the area out there and I learned a lot."

Jackson said that he plans to sit down with his coach and members of his family in the next couple of weeks and look at all three schools more closely and then attempt to reach a decision.

"I'm just going to talk to the people I trust and have my best interests at heart and weigh it out," Jackson said. "But at the end of the day I have to make the decision for myself. Nobody else is going to college for me. So I'm taking it real seriously and I'm going to think about it a lot.

There are great people at every school. It will probably just come down to where I feel the most comfortable, where I can just have a good time and get my classwork done and not struggle in school; also where I can get on the field and make an impact.

When asked if he currently had a favorite among the three, Jackson said, "I'm not really sure. I don't want to give too much stuff away."

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