Defensive end has no early favorites

Arizona is involved in one of the top defensive ends in the nation. Although it is extremely early in the recruiting process, the Wildcats have targeted a California rush end as one the players they'd really like to sign. Although teams like Florida, Tennessee and Miami are in the picture, Arizona has one thing the other schools don't, his brother.

Lawrence Jackson was already one of the most well regarded rush ends before participating in the Nike SoCal Camp. After the camp he is clearly one of the best ends in the country. Jackson showed advanced rush moves and dominated linemen in one-on-one drills.

Jackson's older brother Keith signed with the Wildcats, but that won't necessarily lure the younger Jackson to Tucson. While the Wildcats have offered and are in the picture, they aren't the only team in the hunt.

"The list is kind of long right now," Jackson said. "I don't want to throw out any names and leave anybody out. I'm wide open right now. If you recruit me right then you'll be there."

Although Keith may or may not be able to sway Lawrence to the Wildcats, his recruitment last year certainly gave Lawrence a good idea on what to expect and what he is looking for.

"Since my brother went through it last year I learned a lot of stuff," Jackson said. "I learned not to get your head caught up in it. It helps me to distinguish between a real coach and a fake coach, someone who can help me and someone who is just using me."

Jackson has told sources that a cool climate is a consideration, but there are other things that are much more important to him in the school he will ultimately attend.

"The first thing is academics, then the surroundings, the best shot at the NFL, the coach to player ratio and the way that the coaches develop you as a player and a person," Jackson noted.

Jackson had a phenomenal year in 2001 totaling 134 tackles, 20 quarterback sacks and two interceptions, one he returned for a touchdown. His goals for 2002 are just as lofty. Jackson says he'd like to amass 25-30 sacks and 150 tackles. Despite great numbers and goals, Jackson knows he needs to work on things to bring his game to the next level.

"I need more strength," Jackson said. "I need to use my hands more and I need to work on my moves."

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