Keith Jackson ready to make an impact

While Keith Jackson is a name that has been synonymous with college football for the better part of three decades, University of Arizona fans have good reason to hope it could be a name symbolic of excellence in line play over the next four or five years.

The 6-6 Jackson was a standout on both sides of the ball in high school while garnering accolades from Greg Biggins' PacWest Football, which rated him among the top ten defensive line prospects in the west, while another recruiting service had him pegged in the nation's top twenty for offensive tackles.

 Keith Jackson is big enough to fit into the pass-blocking schemes of Wildcat mentor John Mackovic and he is agile enough to have played center and forward on his Inglewood High, California basketball team earlier in his high school career.  He is also an articulate and engaging student athlete who spoke with Cat Tracks on a variety of subjects ranging from the recruiting process in general and a few of his fellow future
Wildcats.

Cat Tracks: So Keith, are you glad the recruiting process is finally over?
K.J.  Yeah, it started getting a little tiresome at the end with one school that kept calling.

C.T.  You mean even after you had committed?
K.J.  Yeah, Oregon kept calling, but that's about it.

C.T.  When did you start leaning towards the University of Arizona?
K.J.   I started favoring them in like November.  I like the area.  I like the Tucson area, the players, and the coaching staff.  I just felt like Arizona was the place for me.  It's close enough that I can come home whenever I want to, but I also wanted to go away for college.

C.T.  Is there a chance that you would play as a true frosh?
K.J.   I think I might go in there and play as a true freshman.  I think the coaches plan on working
me in at tackle.

C.T.  Keith, how big are you now?
K.J.   I'm about 6-6 and I weigh between 305 and 310.

C.T.  How are you doing with the weights?
K.J.   I bench about 335 right now and I'm squatting about 225.  We used to do half squats and just started doing full squats last month.

C.T.  What do you do the forty in?
K.J.  I run a five-flat forty.  Sometimes 5.1.

C.T.  You played both ways at Inglewood High.  Do you have a preference for offense or defense?
K.J.   I don't know that I have a preference because I'm comfortable with defense and I really like
defense but on offense it's a one on one thing, so I guess it all evens out.  I don't have a preference; if they needed me to play defense I could do that.

C.T.  How did your team do this year?
K.J.   This year we went 10-3.  We lost in the semifinals.

C.T.  Did you play any other sports?
K.J.  Not this year.  I used to play basketball.  I played center and power forward.

C.T.  As an offensive lineman do you have a preference for run or pass-blocking?
K.J.   No preference, I like them both.

C.T.  Did you get a chance to see the special on ESPN about Arizona football?
K.J.   You know what?  When they showed the first part of that I didn't know they were showing it and when I went to school the next day my coach asked me if I had seen it, and I said I hadn't, but he told me it would be on the next week.  When it came on the next week I got to see only the last fifteen minutes or so.

C.T.  When do you think you will go to Tucson?
K.J.   I'll stay in Inglewood until probably mid-July and then go over to Tucson.

C.T.  What are you planning to major in?
K.J.   I will probably study either business or engineering.

C.T.  Are you a straight A student?
K.J.   No, I'm not a straight A student, but I have a 3.0 overall. 

C.T.  Do you know any of the other Arizona recruits?
K.J.   I know Ryan (O'Hara) and Tim Volk.  I played with them in the California-Florida All Star game.  I also know Marlon Brisco, a defensive end. Marlon goes to school right down the street from my school.

C.T.  Did you play against Marlon this year?
K.J.  Yes, we played Morningside this year and we beatthem, I think, about 56-0.  Marlon is real good.  I think he is a dominate player.

C.T.  What do you think of the future of Arizona football with all of the new people coming in?
K.J.   One thing I've learned is that no matter where you go the team may be losing right now but the team can be doing great in a year or two.  It's just how hard you want to work.


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