When Javon Jackson first arrived to Sandy Creek High School as a freshman, he wasn’t sure if he would get on the field at all.
Ahead of him on the depth chart was defensive back Corey Griffin, who now plays at Georgia Tech, and another standout senior.
“I always thought he (Javon) had a lot of skill,” his father, Rodney, told the AJC. “He waited behind some people, and he’s always been on a team where he was the best player. He gets to Sandy Creek, and there’s a handful of kids ahead of him.”
Needless to say, it was a learning experience for the 3-star cornerback, who now holds offers from 15 programs, most notably South Carolina and Louisville. But if you peel back the layers on Jackson’s career, you’d be surprised at how the country’s No. 48 cornerback came to be.
You probably didn’t know that the 5-foot-11, 180-pound cornerback was once an overweight running back, who was strictly a third-down option, or that he initially wanted to play receiver his freshman year before his coaches suggested otherwise.
Now the state’s No. 50 player overall, Jackson is weighing offers from several top-tier Division I programs, and he’s nearing a decision.
“He went from having high enthusiasm with the first offers to, ‘I’m ready to get this over with now,’” his father said.
Jackson tells the AJC that while he doesn’t have any leaders, so to speak, he has been focusing in on Wake Forest, Duke and South Carolina. Jackson and his father visited South Carolina and Duke over the weekend and walked away impressed by each program.
“It was real good,” Jackson said. “I met with all the coaches. I met with (co-defensive coordinator Jon Hoke), (co-defensive coordinator Lorenzo Ward) and coach Steve Spurrier. I hung out with (offensive lineman) Alan Knott, because he went to Sandy Creek. I know him pretty well. I went to their walk-through and saw how their players were working and how the defense worked.”
Jackson says the staff envisions him playing cornerback and the team’s “spur” position, which is essentially a nickel role.
“They made me feel like I was a priority,” Jackson said.
The same can be said about Jackson’s visit to Duke on Sunday. While didn’t get the chance to watch a practice, he did spend time with the coaching staff and a few players. He also picked up an offer, too.
He confirmed to the AJC that he expects to arrive at a decision by Aug. 21, the same day as Sandy Creek’s season-opener.
“I want to go to a place that is right for me,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to be a guy that’s flipping all the time.”