Still in the early stages of his recruiting process, Datona Jackson could not have asked for a better first official visit.
A defensive end at College of the Desert in Palm Springs, Calif., Jackson visited Colorado last weekend and came away very impressed with the Buffaloes.
“It was a fun experience,” the 6-foot, 3.5-inch, 275-pounder said. “Pretty much everything I liked about it. The whole experience in general is all new to me and eye opening.”
A 2013 graduate of Mississinawa Valley High School in Ohio, Jackson didn’t get much attention from recruiters as a prep player. He said his grades were not where they needed to be, and he also dealt with an injury that kept him out of his junior year.
“I was still a little hurt when I came back my senior year, so I never got to play to my full potential,” he said.
After graduating from high school, Jackson, now 22, spent four years away from school and football, getting healthy and putting himself in a position to pay for his own education.
Last year, he enrolled at COD and played football for the Roadrunners, while excelling in the classroom.
At COD last year, he played in eight games, registering 29 tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble. The Roadrunners ran a 3-4 defense last year, but Jackson said they are switching to a 4-3 this year.
Still, his experience and results as a 3-4 defensive end led to CU extending a scholarship offer on April 18. Since then, he’s added offers from San Diego State, San Jose State, Florida Atlantic and Boise State.
Jackson, a class of 2019 prospect, is planning to graduate from COD in December and enroll at a new school in January. Where he plays in 2019 is still a mystery, however.
Although he’s been on an unofficial visit to San Diego State, CU was his first official visit.
“I’ll probably make (a decision) during the season,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes and how things play out. I’m going to take my time to make sure and think about it.”
Gustav to grayshirt
Linebacker Joshka Gustav, who signed with CU in December as part of the 2018 class, will grayshirt and delay his enrollment until January.
A native of Hamburg, Germany, Gustav played at Aquinas (Calif.) High School last year.
He said he suffered a serious illness last winter and that he’s still trying to recover. Listed at 6-3, 230 when he signed, Gustav said he lost about 25 pounds because of the illness.
“I feel good about (grayshirting),” he said. “It will give me more time to get healthy and back to 100 percent physically. I would’ve loved to arrive with all the other commits this summer, but I know it will be better for me to have more time to get healthy so I’ll be at 100 percent when I get there.”
With Gustav delaying his enrollment, CU is projected to have 83 players on scholarship this fall, two below the NCAA maximum of 85. There is a chance head coach Mike MacIntyre would give those two open scholarships to walk-ons.
Contact staff writer Brian Howell at firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.