High School Sports

Mater Dei cornerback Domani Jackson already getting recruiting offers as a freshman

Mater Dei defensive back Domani Jackson during a seven-on-seven tournament in Mesquite, Nev. on Feb. 23.
(Shotgun Spratling / Los Angeles Times)

Domani Jackson hasn’t finished his freshman year at Santa Ana Mater Dei, but that hasn’t stopped him from collecting 20 scholarship offers to play college football.

Schools from all over the nation have stopped by Mater Dei to check out Jackson. His offers have come from near and far. Half the Pac-12 schools, including USC, have offered. So too have colleges in the Southeastern, Big Ten, Big 12 and Atlantic Coast conferences.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back is trying to take things slowly in the recruiting process, even as it is coming at him fast.

“I’m pretty much open to everyone,” Jackson said. “I want to see who really messes with me a lot. See who can get me ready for the next level and [be] a competing conference.”


Jackson has taken unofficial visits to Arizona, Arizona State and USC. He attended one of the Trojans’ spring practices and came away impressed with defensive backs coach Greg Burns.

“He’s a great coach,” Jackson said. “He coaches everything. Even if you think you did it right, there’s always something you can tweak. I mean I could see myself playing with him one day.”

Jackson has several visits he’d like to take as he wades through the recruiting process over the next three years. He listed Maryland, Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State and Oklahoma among the schools he wants to see.

He’s also been learning on the field and about the process from his older Mater Dei teammates. Many are being recruited by the same schools. Two former teammates, Elias Ricks and Darion Green-Warren, have had an impact on Jackson.


Ricks and Green-Warren were the Monarchs’ starting cornerbacks on last year’s CIF Open Division state championship team, but both have transferred so they can try to graduate a semester early. Jackson said the duo taught him about technique and competitive spirit.

“They have real dog in them. They’re not scared of anybody and they compete with anybody,” Jackson said, adding that he’s got to have that fearlessness this season to fill the void they left. “Man, I’ve got to be a dog. Get ready for anybody.”

Humphrey shows his skills

John Humphrey has the measurables.

The cornerback from Pasadena John Muir is 6-2, has long arms and recently ran the 40-yard dash in 4.58 seconds at the Opening Oakland regional in El Cerrito. It was the fastest time of any 6-foot defensive back and the third-fastest time of anyone taller than 6 feet.

The rising senior showed at the camp he also has coverage skills, earning defensive back MVP honors.

“My day went great,” Humphrey said. “I just played aggressive, used my length, used my feet, put everything together to lock everybody up.”

He credited the extra work he routinely puts in by himself at a local park. Whenever he has free time, Humphrey puts himself through a routine filled with speed and agility drills that work on his backpedal and opening up his hips.


Humphrey is still raw as a cornerback but has lots of potential. College programs have taken notice. He’s received scholarship offers from seven schools, including five from the Pac-12 after Washington State offered Monday.

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“I’m just very thankful, blessed that my parents helped me get here,” Humphrey said. “And then I think like which school is best for me. I’m looking for good education, good campus, good coaching too.”

The three-star prospect, listed as an athlete, is also hearing from UCLA and USC. The Trojans have been by Muir and Burns is keeping tabs on Humphrey.

UCLA wants Humphrey to come to a summer camp, so he can work with the coaches and compete in front of them. UCLA defensive backs coach Paul Rhoads has been talking frequently with him.

“He’s saying I could really make a difference there with me being a big corner and stuff,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey plans to wait until after his senior season to make a commitment.

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