It took less than a week for Haynesville (La.) defensive back Jerrell Jackson to make a commitment to San Diego State. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound prospect was offered a scholarship by SDSU recruiting coordinator and cornerbacks coach Tony White last Thursday and gave his verbal pledge to the Aztecs Tuesday evening.
AztecSportsReport.com went in depth with Jackson over the phone moments after making his commitment.
[Chatter in the background]
ASR: What's up Jerrell? Is that your family in the background? Describe the scene for me.
JJ: Yes sir that was my family yelling, we're all celebrating right now. I'm happy, my family is happy, everyone is happy right now. I'm so excited. Everything's going to be good. I've been waiting for all this right here. I want to be in California.
ASR: So first off, go back to when this all started. When did Coach White begin recruiting you?
JJ: I got on the Internet and I looked up Coach White's number so I called him and we just have been in touch ever since then. I call him a lot and he always gives me a lot of good information about San Diego State. I just fell in love with it.
ASR: Have you ever been out west?
JJ: No sir. Like I was telling Coach White, California is a state where my parents have always wanted to go to and it's a state that I've always wanted to go to. It's a good way to pay my family back: I'm going to get a free education and they will get to visit me in California.
ASR: I know they're extremely happy for you, but did you discuss what it would be like to go to a school far away from home and what were their thoughts on it?
JJ: Yes sir, when San Diego State offered me I told my family and they got excited. I've been thinking about that the whole time since. My parents are very supportive and they will try to make every game they can.
ASR: Tell me more about Coach White. What do you like about him as a person and what do you think of him as a coach?
JJ: First off I like him as a coach because people have been telling me he's one of the top recruiters in the nation so I thought if he was recruiting me I must have some good talents. But talking to Coach White, he tells me exactly how it is. He tells me how college is going to be. He told me all the right things I wanted to hear, he told me some things I didn't want to hear. I respect that. Most coaches just tell me all the things I want to hear. Coach White is different, he's a very good guy and I like him.
ASR: Did you ever have a conversion with him where you thought, 'Hey, this is a coach I can see myself playing for?'
JJ: Yes sir. The first thing he talked about was the education. And he was telling me that I'm from Haynesville, I'm a country boy in the neck of the woods and then he would tell me how San Diego State was and all about California and how much I would love it. So, you can't beat that education and living in a state that you wanted to live in ever since you were a little kid.
ASR: So can you see yourself adapting to the SoCal lifestyle?
JJ: Yeah, I can see that because actually all my friends pick on me about that, telling me I'm a pretty boy and a beach boy. They always say that I should go to Miami or any place with a beach because I'm a pretty boy.
ASR: Can you tell me more about the San Diego State defense and where you see yourself fitting in it?
JJ: I like the 3-3-5, that's the defense that I play on the NCAA video game. In the 3-3-5 they bring the blitz and you got to have some fast DB's for protection. That puts a lot of work on the defensive backs and I like that sort of challenge and competition. I'm the type of the guy that you can put anywhere on the field and go 110 percent no matter what. I played QB, returner, safety, receiver; I even punted the ball sometimes. I can play all positions. I got All-State in both offense and defense.
ASR: What position does Coach White like you as?
JJ: He likes me as a corner and a safety. I feel comfortable at both but if I have to choose I would have to say cornerback.
ASR: Coach White has probably watched your film a bunch of times, what has he told you that he likes about it so much?
JJ: He knows I'm an athlete and I made big plays at every position. He saw that I was a baller and that I can make big plays.
ASR: Well it sounds like he's glad he got a baller like you to commit then. What was his reaction when it finally happened?
JJ: Ok so here is the funny part. I told him, 'Coach, me and my family sat down and had a good conversation and I'm sorry to tell you this but me and my family have decided that it would not be a good idea for me to go all the way out to San Diego State.' And he was in shock.
So I was like, 'Hey coach are you still there? I'm just playing with you. I'm ready to come out to San Diego State and play some good football.' So then he got real happy and asked why I was playing games with him but in a happy way. It was very exciting.
ASR: That just goes to show how close you guys are with each other. You joke around all the time like that, I bet.
JJ: Yes sir. I talk to a lot of coaches and they change their personality. Like when I look at them on Twitter and they act one way then when we're on the phone they act a different way. Coach White is always a true person. I've been talking with Coach White for about three weeks and he's just an easy guy to get along with.
ASR: So how solid is your commitment? Are you sure you will sign with SDSU or will you still be listening to other schools if they try and recruit you?
JJ: Oh no, I'm going to sign with San Diego State. I've been hearing from a lot of coaches for a long time and they never offered me and kept asking questions. Coach White sees something in me and I see something in him. We have a good connection. I also want to let the people in Louisiana that didn't offer me know that I can go somewhere else and prove them wrong.
ASR: Well, now that you are going somewhere, don't you think schools will begin to recruit you harder because of that? Are you ready to handle that?
JJ: Yes sir. I'm going to look them in the eye or if we're on the phone I'm going to tell them that I made my decision. I think it's kind of messed up that they are going to feed off another team and try to offer me later because of it.
ASR: So what's next, do you plan to visit soon?
JJ: Yes sir I plan to visit during the summer or during my official visit in December.