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USC gets a major challenger in the race for Domani Jackson

USC did quite well with a local five-star cornerback named Jackson when Adoree’ signed with the Trojans in the 2014 class. USC will look to have that same success in the 2020 class, with Domani Jackson.

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei standout is well on his way to becoming a five-star prospect in the 2022 class, as he already checks in as the No. 12 overall prospect and No. 2 cornerback in his class. USC is one of several big-name programs chasing the 6-foot-1, 185-pound athlete, but the Trojans are coming hard.

Jackson burst onto the scene as an eighth grader, when he participated in a USC camp during the summer of 2018. He walked away from that camp with a USC offers almost two years ago to the day, and that was only the beginning. Jackson said he picked up seven offers in one day to kickstart his recruiting process–a development he referred to as mindblowing.

And while recruiting hasn’t slowed down as he enters his junior season–he’s still picking up offers from schools across the country–Jackson said he’s doing what he can to take his time with everything. He said Arizona State, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and USC are a few of the schools he speaks to regularly.

“They all contact me once a week, with Zoom calls and Facetime,” Jackson said. “They’re showing a lot of interest and I’m thankful for it.”

Jackson finished his sophomore season with 48 tackles, one interception returned for a touchdown and nine pass deflections. He’s also been hard at work this offseason, as he’s become one of the most physically impressive and athletic prospects in the region, regardless of class. Last weekend, Jackson showed incredibly well at the Winner Circle Athletics SoCal Showcase, where he ran a hand-timed 40-yard dash on a fast track under 4.3 seconds. Even accounting for the advantages in the timing set up, his speed was evident. During drills and the competition portion, he was impressive again.

USC appears to be in a good spot for Jackson at this point. He said he had been visiting the school regularly and speaking with coaches, and has a solid relationship with USC cornerbacks coach Donte Williams. But the Trojans just got a significant challenger in this recruitment, as Clemson extended an offer recently.

The Tigers signed quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei in the 2020 class, hold a commitment from 2021 wide receiver Beaux Collins (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), had a commitment from No. 1 overall prospect Korey Foreman (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and are immediately a major player for Jackson, who said Foreman has told him all about the program.

“It’s hard to say no to Clemson,” Jackson said. “It’s such a great program…Clemson was a big offer. It’s crazy.”

Jackson initially had planned to visit a number of East Coast schools this past spring before the coronavirus pandemic halted on-campus recruiting visits. He said he’s done some virtual visits with programs, but it’s not quite the same as actually being on campus.

Right now Jackson said he’s concentrating on building relationships with college coaches, specifically talking about things outside of football. He said there is plenty of time left in his recruiting process, as he won’t even announce a top-10 list until New Year’s Day. He said he’ll likely announce his commitment sometime during his senior year.

“I want to take it nice and slow and see how it goes,” Jackson said.

Erik McKinney

Erik McKinney began writing for WeAreSC in 2004, during his junior year at USC, covering the Trojans football team and recruiting. He then moved on to ESPN.com in 2011, where he served as the West Region recruiting reporter and then the Pac-12 recruiting reporter. He took over as publisher of WeAreSC in January, 2019.

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