May 11, 2010

Recent offers surprised Jackson

It's not as if Pennsylvania defensive end Branden Jackson has ever lacked confidence in his abilities, but the recent flurry of interest from colleges and three offers have caught him off guard.

Just about a month ago the 6-foot-4, 220-pound defensive end from McKeesport, Pa., was hearing from some schools but the interest seemed to be mild. Now Jackson is sitting on offers from Michigan, North Carolina and West Virginia.

How did that happen? Jackson seems to be as surprised as anyone.

"I got the offer from West Virginia last month and then the (others) came," he said. "West Virginia came on a Monday, then that Wednesday I got Michigan and the last one was North Carolina. My coach had sent my film out to all those schools.

"It was shocking. I figured if I got an offer the first would be from Pittsburgh since they're close to home.

"I went up to West Virginia for their junior day and I think they offered me because they like my character. I was there on an unofficial visit and it caught me off guard.

"When Michigan came (and offered) I was like, 'Whoa.' I had never talked to them. I had never met with their coaches ... nothing. It was just shocking because it's Michigan."

Jackson said he definitely plans on visiting Michigan before too long. He's hoping he can make it to North Carolina and other schools as well. Wisconsin, Illinois and Maryland are showing a lot of interest and have been in contact.

"I really don't know what I'm going to do yet," Jackson continued. "It all depends on what team makes me feel the most at home. I don't want to just sign with the biggest (program). I want to make sure the place I'm going to stay at four or five years is going to make me feel comfortable.

"I don't really have any favorites. I wouldn't say I do. They all have their strong points. One thing I liked at West Virginia was I just felt at home. Michigan's coach is really down to earth and I haven't really had a chance to communicate with North Carolina."

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