Antwuan Jackson, one of the country’s top uncommitted prospects, was expecting Kirby Smart a day before the recruiting dead period began on Monday.
The 4-star defensive tackle spoke with the recently hired Bulldogs coach early Sunday and agreed to an in-home visit later that night.
“Knowing that (Smart) is one of the best defensive coaches in the country, him just sitting next to you and talking to him was great,” Jackson told SEC Country of the visit on Monday. “He used to be my ex-recruiter at Alabama. We just have a connection.”
Sunday marked the final time college coaches and prospects could meet face-to-face until Jan. 14 as the NCAA prohibits said contact between both parties until that time. And Jackson’s in-home visit with Smart could very well be the final time both sides meet. He is set to decide between Auburn, Ohio State, Florida and UGA on Thursday at Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood), and he will enroll in January.
Working on limited time, Jackson said Smart gauged his interest level in other schools and asked if the Bulldogs still had a horse in the race.
“We had a man-to-man talk,” Jackson said. “That’s why I really like Kirby.”
The visit marked the second time the two have communicated in some way since Smart succeeded Mark Richt. Just a few days after his introductory press conference, the former Alabama defensive coordinator reached out to Jackson over the phone.
But is Smart too late to the table?
“No, not at all,” Jackson said. “Every team has an opportunity and a fair chance.”
As it stands now, Auburn and Ohio State appear to have the inside track for Jackson’s signature.
Jackson is rated as the nation’s No. 55 player in this year’s recruiting cycle.