"To be honest with you, I believe I can do it all," added the soft
spoken Damien Jackson. "Anyone who has seen my highlight tape in the spring
can see what I can do, but I think my best attribute is my anticipation. My
goal is to make the 1st Team All-Ameircan squad this year. Last year I was named
All-Region 23 (State of Mississippi) but I want to make it nationally this year."
Gulf Coast CC came into the season ranked #2 in the country but lost a heartbreaker
to N' West CC last Thursday.
"I am not going to take anything away from N' West CC, but they are not
in the same boat as us. We had 4 turnovers and gave up deep ball after deep
ball. Do not get me wrong, they are a good team, real good team, but when two
good teams go up against each other and one gives up that many turnovers, it
is normally a blowout."
What is the team's mind set going into their contest against ICC tonight?
"I think we are still in it. I guess we got ahead of ourselves, but we
are still competing in practice like we did from day one. We have a tough team
to play in ICC. They beat Jones CC last week so we know we have our hands full,
but I think you are going to see a different team from us tonight. I think we
are going to play a clean game."
Which colleges have now offered?
"Ole Miss, Alabama, North Carolina, Louisville, Iowa State, Tulsa, ULM,
and a few more."
Any phone calls since the coaches could start calling on September 1st?
"Ole Miss called. LSU left a message. Iowa State left a message. Alabama
left a message."
What did Ole Miss say?
"They just let me talk to the whole staff and introduced me around. They
said what they liked about me, which is my range and size. They say I am a ball
hawker. They also said they lost a couple of their safeties from their last
class, and they are graduating one of their starters and the other safety is
a senior, so they are looking to fill a spot with an experienced player."
It is no coincidence that when asked which coaches he has developed a close
relationship with, Ole Miss was mentioned.
"I would say the coach that I feel the closest to is Coach Dameron from
Ole Miss. I also like Coach Roy from North Carolina. He is a cool guy. But Coach
Dickerson can communicate with me. He knows what I am talking about and going
through. It is like he already knew me or something."
Damien knows that it will take more than a good relationship with the staff
to find the right home.
"None of that matters. I think my visit is going to decide everything.
I could be cool with a coach, but if I do not feel at home. I do not think I
can go there."
And which schools is Damien interested in visiting.
"I would like to go check out Ole Miss, North Carolina, and Alabama. After
that, I really do not know. It is a toss up with Louisville, Auburn, and being
from Louisiana, I see LSU all of the time. I already know what the atmosphere
is like there. Right now, I have only lined up one official visit, and that
is to Ole Miss on October 10th. They are actually playing Alabama that weekend
so I will get to see both of them play."
What stands out about Ole Miss?
"They are an up and coming program, and in juco you only two years where
ever you go, so you got to make it happen. I mean, I am going to make it happen
anywhere I go, but I want to play for a national championship. I talked to the
Ole Miss conditioning coach too, and he understood where I am coming from and
what my goals are."
And what are Damien's goals?
"To make it to the NFL so I can provide a better life for my family. I
also want to get my degree."
What about Alabama?
"Coach Burton came to my school in the Spring and had a really good talk.
He is a cool guy. They are like Ole Miss too. They are an up and coming team."
And North Carolina?
"Coach Roy is a cool guy, and everybody tells me how beautiful it is up
there. I really want to see it for myself."
LSU provides that home state flavor.
"It is the home state. I already know how they are getting down. I know
how it is like there. I just feel privileged to be able to have a pick between
all of these great schools. I just thank God everyday."
Does the home state factor give the Bengals an edge should they offer?
"No, not at all. I mean, that's the home state. I have family that is there.
My cousin is there. My sister is there, but they do not stand out. I like Ole
Miss as much as LSU, and I like North Carolina as much as LSU and Ole Miss.
I like Alabama too and Louisville too. I just have to be smart about it."
When will that decision be made?
"After I take all of my visits."
Yancy Porter is the Recruiting Analyst for the state of Mississippi
and can be reached at