Omaha Burke linebacker Devon Jackson is getting closer to making a college choice.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound senior leaves Friday for an official visit to Oregon.
“I like coach (Ken) Wilson and think he has one of the best linebacker rooms in the country,” Jackson said of the Ducks. “Both of their inside linebackers are really young. I could probably redshirt and wait for the younger guys like Justin Flow and Noah Sewell to leave. After that it is anybody’s game.”
Wilson, the Ducks co-defensive coordinator/inside linebackers coach, sees a possible move for Jackson from his high school position of outside linebacker to WILL or inside linebacker.
“They (Oregon) said their WILL linebacker or the same position as Justin Flow is their space player or player that makes plays in space at inside linebacker,” Jackson said. “They feel like it would be the best position for me.”
Oregon has found success recently recruiting the Metro. Omaha Westside 2021 graduate Avante Dickerson is a freshman at Oregon. Jackson and Dickerson know each other but aren’t close friends.
“Hopefully while I’m there I can talk to Avante about the adjustment,” Jackson said. “I talked to him about the offer from Oregon but while I’m out there I want to link up with him and talk about the transition from Omaha to Eugene.”
Jackson is rated as the No. 2 in-state prospect and No. 154 nationally according to the 247Sports composite, a ranking which combines 247Sports, ESPN and Rivals national rankings.
His relationship with the Ducks has developed quickly. Oregon offered on Aug. 14 and is the most recent school to offer.
Arizona State and Miami continue to be in the mix.
“It’s really between Arizona State, Miami and Oregon,” he said.
Jackson officially visited Miami in late June and unofficially visited ASU in early June, the same week recruiting missteps against the Sun Devils went public.
“If they didn’t have those recruiting violations they probably would have gotten me, Kaden (Helms of Bellevue West) and Deshawn (Woods of Omaha Central),” Jackson said. “I was silently committed there (ASU) at one point but you can only push me so far with the talent around me. If I go to Oregon they have dudes that can push me every day.”
Jackson is planning to visit Tempe once more time, an official visit on Oct. 8, prior to making a public commitment later next month.
“I think I won’t make a decision until late October, but I want to have the decision made before the playoffs,” he said. “I don’t want to be a distraction for my team in the playoffs.”
Admittedly he didn’t have his best game in Week 1 versus Bellevue West, his first live game in more than a year due to Omaha Public Schools cancelling the 2020 season due to COVID.
But the last three weeks he’s shown his big play potential defensively, including an interception return for a touchdown and three fumble recoveries, two of which went for touchdowns.
“I feel like I haven’t had that big game yet,” he said. “I think it took that first game for me and us as a team to get into the feel of actually playing a game. We have a lot of freshmen and we were a little shell shocked that first game.”