Written by SportsDayDFW.com
No rush: Plano West DE Jackson Jeffcoat not in a hurry to make college choice
Since the first U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2001, elite high school football players have used the game's national platform to announce their college choices. At the 10th annual game today at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Plano West defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat could do the same.
But the senior, one of the top recruits in the nation who has yet to announce his decision, won't. He's still not ready to decide, even with all the help he's getting this week from his All-American teammates. You can bet that the players orally committed to Jeffcoat's finalists - Arizona State, Florida, Houston, Oklahoma, Texas and USC - are offering advice.
"Of course they're in my ear, but it doesn't bother me," Jeffcoat said Thursday after an All-American Bowl barbecue. "I like hearing how they feel about schools, but ultimately the decision is mine."
For now, he's just enjoying spending time with the other players. Jeffcoat won't play in today's game because of a sprained ankle, but five other local players are on the West roster: Arlington Oakridge receiver Ross Apo (orally committed to BYU), Southlake Carroll kicker Cade Foster (Alabama), Garland linebacker Tevin Jackson (Texas), Allen offensive lineman Cedric Ogbuehi (Texas A&M) and Haltom defensive tackle Reggie Wilson (Texas).
They've spent the week practicing and attending bowl-related events leading up to today's game, which starts at noon and will be televised live on NBC. Jeffcoat said he enjoyed talking with a heroic Army soldier who had returned from Iraq, and Ogbuehi said he liked spending time playing games at Dave and Buster's. Jackson couldn't pick out one highlight.
"The whole time I've been here has been a highlight," he said.
And he hasn't spent time trying to lure Jeffcoat to the Longhorns.
"I may say something, but I'm not going to harass him," Jackson said. "Like all of us, he's down here just trying to enjoy himself."
That's part of the reason that Jeffcoat, the son of former Cowboys defensive lineman Jim Jeffcoat, isn't playing in the game. He's also a basketball player, and at 6-5 and 230 pounds, he's a valuable inside force for state-ranked Plano West. Jeffcoat wants to let his sprained ankle heal so he can return to the court.
Jeffcoat might accelerate his football progress if he gave up basketball this season, but he never considered it. He wants to make the most out of his senior year.
"And basketball is my first love, and I'm not going to just let my teammates down," he said.
No reason to rush things. That's the same way Jeffcoat feels about choosing where he'll play college football. He's still weighing his options and enjoying the recruiting process.
Yes, he's enjoying it.
"It definitely feels good to be wanted," he said.