AJ Jackson, one of the state’s top prospects at tight end, learned a valuable lesson over the weekend: Don’t believe everything you hear in the wacky world of recruiting.
The 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from Lovejoy High School de-committed from Auburn on Friday morning, only to call it a “misunderstanding” later that evening.
“I’m still committed to Auburn; it’s all good,” Jackson told the AJC on Sunday. “I feel good about how everything was handled with this situation. I still like Auburn.”
Here’s what happened: Jackson had heard rumors for a week from other recruits, a student at Auburn, and a parent of one of his Lovejoy teammates that he had “lost” his scholarship at Auburn due to grades.
Even though Jackson had not spoken directly with Auburn’s coaches, Jackson was convinced enough by his sources that he de-committed to the Tigers.
Then he spoke directly a few hours later to Auburn’s coaches, master recruiter Trooper Taylor and head coach Gene Chizik.
“I got a call from Coach Trooper, and he confirmed it wasn’t true,” Jackson told the AJC. “He said I was still one of their main targets, that they still have high interest in me, and they don’t want me to go anywhere else. He said don’t listen to the rumors, stick with us, and if I have any problems to call and we’ll talk about it.
“Coach Chizik basically said the same things, but in a different way. He said he would love to have me as a kid and an athlete. He said he would never take my scholarship away.”
Jackson said he has a 2.7 GPA and will take the ACT this weekend.
What about Auburn’s first 1-6 start in 60 years? “It’s not a good start, and everybody knows that. I’m disappointed, but at the same time I’m glad I can go there next year and help them get things turned back around.”
While Jackson remains committed to Auburn, he still plans to definitely take an official visit to Florida State and may also tour Tennessee, Ole Miss and Mississippi State.
WE’RE LESS THAN FOUR MONTHS AWAY FROM SIGNING DAY
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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