Five-Star DB Domani Jackson Talks Michigan, Recruiting Process, NIL, More
Domani Jackson was all smiles on the sideline as his Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei team took down Anaheim (Calif.) Servite in one of the most anticipated high school football games of the season over the weekend.
Jackson was ruled out for his senior year after suffering a knee injury early in the season — Jackson has actually been dealing with patellar tendonitis since 2017.
However, the five-star 2022 defensive back has been at every Mater Dei game supporting his teammates this fall and was in good spirits as he continues to go through the rehabilitation process.
“I’ve gotten some range of motion back these past two weeks,” Jackson said. “We’re finally killing it. The first month was awful. I couldn’t really move it. Now, we’re coming along.”
On the recruiting front, Jackson remains firmly committed to USC but is still in constant contact with both Alabama and Michigan.
Jackson, the No. 9 overall recruit nationally, is set to make an official visit to Alabama on Nov. 6 , which is his only planned recruiting trip at this time. Jackson officially visited Michigan last month and is monitoring the situation at USC as the Trojans search for their new head coach.
“With the Alabama visit, it’s mostly about the atmosphere,” Jackson said. “That’s why I wanted to go during the football season. I want to see how it is in other states. That’s really all I’m looking for. We love Michigan. We have to see what they have going on (at USC). After this visit, I’ll talk to my parents and we’ll go from there.”
Michigan has still been going full court press since hosting him for the game against Washington on Sept. 11. Both head coach Jim Harbaugh and cornerbacks coach Steve Clinkscale have been leading the way in his recruitment.
“They hit me up every day and see what’s going on with me,” Jackson said. “It’s not really recruiting anymore. It’s about everyday life now. I get along with mostly everyone that’s there. Coach Harbaugh hits me up, and Coach Clink talks to me every day.”
Jackson was initially recruited by former Michigan cornerbacks Michael Zordich. After his departure, Jackson started to develop a bond with Maurice Linguist, who abruptly bolted for the head coaching job at Buffalo.
While it seemed like a game of musical chairs, Michigan hit a home run with Clinkscale, who is known as a great recruiter and talent developer. Jackson said he’s been impressed with Clinkscale’s push as of late.
“Our relationship is really good,” Jackson said. “When he first took over as the position coach, he had me on the radar. He always tried to build up that relationship because he knew I was interested in Michigan and that’s my dream school. He’s trying to make it a dream come true.”
Jackson added that he’s been impressed with Michigan this season, especially the way the Wolverines have been playing on the defensive side of the ball.
“Their defense turns it up a lot,” Jackson said. “It’s kind of unbelievable. Michigan is really coming along. There is nothing else I really need to see. They are doing really good. I’ll say that.”
As mentioned, Jackson is closely watching the situation at USC. Lead recruiter and interim head coach Donte Williams has a special bond with Jackson, but the Trojans have struggled on the field, and there are plenty of unknowns in regards to who exactly will be on staff by the time Jackson is set to sign.
Still, Jackson believes in the future of the program.
“I know the talent SC has,” Jackson said. “It’s one of the best schools in the nation. I believe.”
As one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, Jackson has heard unique pitches from all three schools. NIL has been a constant theme when Jackson is discussed by national pundits given his status as an elite prospect. However, Jackson said it’s not playing much of a factor in his decision.
“They all have their say in what NIL deals they’ve got going on,” Jackson said. “But I’m more of a guy that has to be at the school and focus first. I feel like I have to ball out on the field before I get deals. I don’t want to rush into anything with NIL.”
Jackson made it clear that ‘relationships and atmosphere’ will be key when he signs this winter. A December graduate, Jackson will enroll early at the school of his choice.
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