As J.C. Jackson turns...
J.C. Jackson has been a Florida commit since last summer. Since committing to the Gators, he has seemed to spend a lot of time contemplating both flipping back to Florida State and completing a circuit of Florida's Big Three schools by flipping to Miami. But Jackson spent a lot of time in Gainesville on Saturday.
Zach Abolverdi of The Gainesville Sun reports that Jackson made a surprise visit to Gainesville on Saturday, saying it was a "spur of the moment" decision to make the "five-hour" trip (it's a four-hour trip if you don't speed) from Immokalee to Gainesville on a day when he was initially scheduled to go to Florida State on an official visit and receive Miami coach Al Golden on an in-home visit.
But, as is always the case with Jackson, there are caveats: He did drive back to Miami and likely met with Golden on Saturday, and he told Abolverdi "You'll see Wednesday" and told 247Sports's Luke Stampini ($ update, free thread) "I don't know" when asked if he was sticking with Florida. I think Jackson wants to be a Gator, but his father certainly seems to be pushing Miami hard, and that makes Jackson hard to call at this point.
Damian Prince lauds official visit
The lone 2014 prospect on an official visit to Florida over the weekend was Damian Prince, and, by all accounts, he enjoyed himself.
Willie Prince (@HeavyGleesh) February 1, 2014
It was a good bet that Florida would knock that official visit out of the park — it's hard not to when bringing kids from at or above the Mason-Dixon Line to Florida on an unseasonably warm day in January, or when bringing just one big name to town on an official this late in the game — and Florida offensive line coach Mike Summers had already clearly made an impression on Prince.
But the tricky time for the Gators is the next three days. Prince is out of their hands and on Maryland's home turf now, and for Florida to overcome the Terps (and super-recruiter Mike Locksley), Prince is going to have to want what he had over the weekend more than he needs the comforts of family and home in Maryland. That's a tough ask, but the Gators have certainly done all they can do to make Prince pick Florida.
Adoree' Jackson does the L.A. circuit
The basics with Adoree' Jackson remain the same: It feels like Florida and USC are the two teams that are ultimately his finalists, because they are the two teams that have been in the running for him for the longest. But it's been rare of late to have a week or weekend go by without a development for Jackson that changes something, and last weekend was no different.
Jackson visited both USC and UCLA over the weekend, per 247Sports USC reporter Justin Hopkins ($), and definitely saw UCLA with his mother — who flew in prior to the weekend to help Jackson with his decision. Despite that, though, Hopkins just switched his Crystal Ball pick for Jackson to Florida, and national writer J.C. Shurburtt followed suit.
Hopkins isn't exactly the master of the USC beat — he's been 247Sports' Oregon insider for a while — but he's also one of the national names I trust, and Shurburtt is the top-ranked predictor in the country according to the Crystal Ball. And Florida's staying power with Jackson has been impressive, given the distance, Jackson's lack of a return visit, Florida's struggles in 2013, and the enthusiasm that has swelled around USC under both Ed Orgeron and Steve Sarkisian. If the Gators pull Jackson from a Trojan stomping grounds, it may be the recruiting coup of the year.