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Monday, January 21, 2013
Tide emerge for Florida athlete after visit

By Greg Ostendorf

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- A month ago Alabama wasn’t even on the radar for Florida athlete Eddie Jackson. He didn’t have a scholarship offer from the Crimson Tide, and he had never been to Tuscaloosa. That has since changed.

Two weeks ago, the UA staff extended an offer to Jackson, and over the weekend, he took his official visit to Alabama.

“Everything went great,” he said. “I went to the parade, hung out with the players, went to Coach Saban’s house. The biggest thing for me was the academics and how the academic department is ran, and also what they’re trying to build at Alabama. It’s a tradition. It’s a family, so I really like that.”

After sitting out his junior season due to academics, Jackson has flown under the radar for most of the recruiting process, but now he has offers from some of the top programs in the Southeast, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida State, LSU and Tennessee.

He’s listed as a wide receiver, but Alabama’s head coach has other ideas if he chooses the Tide.

“They want me to play defensive back,” Jackson said. “Coach Saban told me there’s a good opportunity for me to start my freshman year, come in and play early. That really sounded good. I’m just ready to go in there and compete.”

Specifically, Saban said he likes the 6-foot-1, 178-pound Jackson as a cornerback.

On his visit, Jackson was hosted by a fellow Sunshine State defensive back, sophomore safety Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix. He also saw both Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon -- the Tide’s running back duo -- while in town.

With two official visits down and two to go, Jackson says Alabama is the school that currently stands out with just over two weeks left before signing day.

“I like how the program is run,” he said. “I liked hanging out with the guys and how they live by day-to-day rules. I like what they stand for. And my parents like it.”

With spots limited for Alabama in the 2013 class, Jackson said the staff plans to hold a scholarship for him until he makes his decision.