Diamonds in the rough. This describes how the Illini staff have approached recruiting. With a combination of their numerous amounts of NFL experience and great scouting, the Illini staff has been able to land prospects that may have been overlooked throughout their recruiting process. A great example of this is rising sophomore Bennett Williams. The talented California safety was ranked as a high 2 star recruit coming into college. He proved his doubters wrong and finished his freshman campaign as a freshman ESPN All-American.
Similarly, the 2019 California 3 star ATH Giles Jackson is coming in quite underrated, picking up scholarship offers in his recruiting process from San Jose State, Sacramento State, Howard, and Seton Hill. He is a quick shifty player who would be a really great addition to any team in the country. I took some time to talk to him about his recruitment.
AS: Giles, you are listed as an ATH, what do you think are the best positions that suit your skill set on the field?
Giles Jackson: I like to play slot receiver because my shiftiness allows me to get separation from the defense. Also, I have always enjoyed playing on special teams and would love to play some kick/punt return in college.
AS: How is your recruiting process going and what has been the most enjoyable part?
Giles Jackson: It’s going good right now. I think the most enjoyable part is just talking with the coaches and getting to know what they are trying to do with their programs. Also, taking visits.
AS: Which schools are you in contact with and which would you say are recruiting you the hardest? Which would you say you are most interested in?
Giles Jackson: I’ve been in contact with Washington State, UTEP, Rice, Wyoming, USC, Sacramento State, San Jose State, and Utah State. Of these schools I would say UTEP is recruiting me the hardest right now and I like all of these schools right now.
Me: Any interest in Illinois? Have you been in contact with anyone from the coaching staff?
Giles Jackson: Yeah I have lots of interest in them. Coach Nickerson visited my school a couple weeks ago and I spoke to him about the program.
Me: Are you planning on taking any visits soon or over the summer?
Giles Jackson: Yeah, I believe I’m getting up to USC, UCLA, and Oregon as of right now.
I do not think it will be long before the Illini staff offers Giles Jackson and I do not think they will be only ones to do it. High school season will be starting up again in a couple of months and I think more programs will start paying more attention to Giles Jackson. He has all the intangibles that you would want in a player. When it comes down to it I think the Illini will be a major contender for Giles but in the end I think he will stay on the West Coast. The Illini staff are on a quest to build a dynasty in LittyvILLE and it will be important to land commitments from some special out of state talent if #ILLGang19 is truly going to be lit!