Elijah Jackson told 247Sports on Aug. 12 that he was nowhere close to a commitment.
“I do not have a time frame for my decision,” the three-star 2020 cornerback reportedly said to 247Sports national recruiting editor Brandon Huffman. “I do not want to rush into anything. I want my decision to be thought out 100 percent.”
Eight days later, Jackson’s time frame suddenly shrunk. On Friday, Jackson tweeted he would publicly commit on Saturday. On Saturday, he tweeted that his announcement had been delayed. That delay sure didn’t last long.
The Harbor City, Calif., native announced his verbal commitment to Washington on Tuesday, less than four days after publicly cutting his offer list to four and less than 48 hours after fellow defensive backs Jacobe Covington and Makell Esteen came to the same decision.
Besides Jackson’s four finalists — UW, UCLA, Cal and Utah — Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, Oregon State, Texas Tech and more all extended scholarship offers. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound standout — who took an official visit to Seattle on the weekend of June 7 — is ranked as a three-star prospect and the No. 48 corner in the nation by 247Sports.
The Huskies’ 19-deep 2020 class now includes four defensive backs — Jackson, Esteen, Covington and California three-star corner James Smith. Eastside Catholic corner Ayden Hector might be the odd man out. The local DB — who is regarded as a four-star recruit, the No. 5 player in Washington and the No. 11 corner in the 2020 class by 247Sports — has been considering UW, Stanford and USC, among others. With Jackson possibly snatching the Huskies’ last available secondary scholarship, Hector might be forced to fully focus outside the state.
Still, UW’s class — which entered the day ranking 17th nationally and second in the Pac-12 by 247Sports — still has room to grow in other areas. Just six of UW’s 19 commits are defensive prospects; the Huskies are expected to ultimately land roughly 23 or 24 signees.
But, speaking of growth, Jackson (6-2, 175), Esteen (6-1, 170), Covington (6-1, 193) and Smith (6-1, 180) all possess the length and positional versatility that defensive coordinator and defensive-backs coach Jimmy Lake covets. (Esteen, it should be noted, also shared a secondary with Jackson at Lawndale High School.)
Jackson compiled 64 tackles, three interceptions, six passes defended, four tackles for loss and two fumble recoveries on defense at Lawndale last season, while adding 14 catches, 304 yards and three touchdowns as a wide receiver.
On Tuesday, he was done waiting — and that played in Washington’s favor.