On Monday morning, it was reported that USC cornerback Domani Jackson was set to enter the transfer portal.
Jackson has had an up-and-down — mostly down — first two years at the college level. Up to this point, he’s only recorded 34 total tackles and four pass breakups. He has yet to reel in an interception, which is surprising considering he collected at least four throughout his high school career.
Now Jackson is looking for his new college home, and what better place than Ann Arbor and suiting up for the Michigan Wolverines?
If you don’t follow high school recruiting, let’s catch you up to speed. Jackson was a highly touted prospect in the class of 2022. He was a five-star talent as the No. 5 overall prospect and the No. 2 corner in the country, according to 247Sports’ composite. Michigan was heavily involved in Jackson’s recruitment in high school, securing visit after visit — including an official visit in Sept. 2021 — in hopes he would eventually commit and sign.
The Wolverines did all they could, but Jackson sided with the Trojans at the end of the day.
One of the main reasons Jackson was interested in Michigan in the first place was the vigorous recruiting efforts of cornerbacks coach Steve Clinkscale. The Jackson family is originally from Youngstown, Ohio, the same hometown of Clinkscale, which build a bond.
“There’s a lot of similarities — both of us being from Youngstown, Ohio,” Mr. Jackson told Wolverines Wire after Domani’s official visit. “The mentality is pretty much the same. Blue-collar, hard work, get after it mentality, not a lot of talking. Not a lot of glamor, not a lot of flash, but at the end of the day, working your butt off and earning everything you get. That helped establish a pretty good relationship between us.”
Clinkscale remains in Ann Arbor as the cornerbacks coach and co-defensive coordinator, so one would assume this connection would go a long way in Michigan’s potential re-recruitment of Jackson.
Another reason the Wolverines were in consideration is because of the recruiting efforts of the No. 3 ranked cornerback from the 2022 class — Will Johnson. Committing to Michigan very early in the cycle, Johnson became one of the leaders of his class and helped recruit other prospects, with Jackson being one of his top overall targets, and friends, in the class.
Jackson discussed Johnson recruiting him “every day” to The Michigan Insider’s Sam Webb, saying it would be “hard to say no. That’s why I’m always (visiting Ann Arbor).”
Johnson and Jackson still communicate to this day, at least over social media.
Michigan will be in need of some bodes in the secondary next season. Mike Sainristil and Josh Wallace are out of college eligibility, leaving a couple holes to be filled this offseason. Perhaps one of the up-and-comers currently on the team — like Amorion Walker, DJ Waller or Jyaire Hill — can claim a starting role. Or maybe Jackson can transfer to Ann Arbor, resurrect his career and form one of the best one-two punches at the cornerback position.
Time will tell if Michigan will pick up the phone and connect with Jackson again, but given his recruiting history with the program, the family connection with Clinkscale and his friendship with Johnson, it may be hard to say no a second time.