2019 Oakley (CA) Freedom all-purpose back Giles Jackson recaps his official visit to Michigan.
Post-Visit Reaction: Jackson Impressed With Everything Michigan Has to Offer
Giles Jackson’s interest in Michigan is relatively new.
The versatile athlete — who runs a reported 4.49u 40-yard dash — didn’t know much about the program until he made his official visit just this past weekend. He didn’t know how big Michigan Stadium actually was. He knew of Coach Harbaugh — and being from the Bay Area, that was going to be a certainty. But he didn’t know until his official visit just how welcoming and inviting the Wolverines head coach really would be.
So, when he touched down in Ann Arbor, seeing the campus for the first time, Jackson “was shocked,” he told WolverinesWire. It was like nothing he had experienced to that point.
With offers from USC, Oregon and Oregon State, Jackson’s recruitment blew up in short order, after he showed out in The Opening regionals. He earned his invitation to The Opening Finals — for which he leaves on Wednesday night. Whereas, he was sitting “for awhile” with just an offer from San Jose State, he now his his pick of the litter, having a cornucopia of options from Power 5 schools.
Jackson is set to release a Top 4 on Wednesday before he leaves for Dallas, and he says that Michigan has definitely made the cut. That’s thanks, in large part, to how his first ever visit to Ann Arbor went.
“The thing that stood out was the coaches all made me a priority to go there,” Jackson told WolverinesWire. “And they were all super nice, and the players were all super welcoming. I liked that.”
Once he got to the seat of Washtenaw County, Jackson had a busy slate.
Hosted by second-year quarterback Dylan McCaffrey, he had breakfast in The Big House, lunch with players at a trampoline park and a photo shoot before he got to meet with Coach Harbaugh.
When he finally sat down with the Wolverines fourth-year head coach, he learned more about how Michigan envisions him playing at the next level. And when the 5-foot-8, 172-pound athlete heard the name the staff mentioned as a prototype, the thought of it was scintillating to Jackson.
“They basically want to use me as a slot-slash-running back,” Jackson said. “Wildcat formations, jet sweeps. Stuff like what Jabrill Peppers did on offense, basically.”
Where Michigan truly made an impression was with what it has to offer off the football field.
Once he had an opportunity to see the campus at the University of Michigan, Jackson was absolutely floored. It was nothing like what he expected.
“I was completely wowed! I didn’t know it looked that nice. I never saw a campus that looked like that. I was shocked!
“Everything is like right there, so you really don’t need a car. Everything is there. It’s all walking distance.”
But, just as important — if not more so — was the academic presentation.
Jackson wants to study sports management, and academics are forefront on his list of things he’s looking for. As far as his approach, and what’s important to him, Jackson says he’s looking to make “more of a 40-year decision, than a 4-year decision.”
And that’s where Michigan really shined, in his opinion, as the staff strives for just as much success off the field as much as on.
“They have the number one academics in the country,” Jackson said. “That was very impressive to me. They want all their guys to succeed. So if you’re not in the NFL, you’re leaving there, graduating with a full-time job. And I thought that was pretty cool.”
Now, Jackson will look forward to showing what he has among the nation’s top-rated and best athletes at The Opening. He’ll be playing on Team Elite, which features two current Michigan commitments — QB Cade McNamara and DE Stephen Herron Jr.
He already has familiarity with the guy who will be both throwing and handing the ball off to him, having established a relationship over the course of recent months.
And he says that McNamara is really pushing him to be a part of this 2019 class.
“Cade – he’s my 7-v-7 quarterback – I talk to him almost every day,” he said. “He’s on me every day about it!”
As for now, Jackson will continue his process, starting with Wednesday’s Top Four reveal. Oregon and Oregon State are recruiting him the hardest, but there’s still a lot of time before he makes an August decision.
Per 247Sports, Jackson is rated a three-star, as the 601st-ranked player overall and the 7th-best all-purpose back in the class.