Waiting Game

<b>Alonzo Jackson</b> knows exactly where he's going to be for this weekend's NFL draft. In front of the television with his telephone nearby. He also will probably share a private moment with his father as well. "I am eager to get it on myself. It's nerve-wracking, believe me," Jackson said Monday. Jackson also thanked Seminole fans for their support and prayers during his family's time of grief with the recent death of his father to cancer.

Alonzo Jackson knows exactly where he's going to be for this weekend's NFL draft. In front of the television with his telephone nearby. He also will probably share a private moment with his father as well.

"Man, I am gonna be the kind of guy sitting by the phone looking at the TV. I want to be the first to know," a laughing Jackson said Monday.

"I am going to be watching it. I used to watch the draft when I was a little guy coming up. I always wanted to be in New York. I wasn't fortunate enough to be invited to New York, but I am going to be watching it, checking it out, seeing what they say - the might be wrong or they might be right - but just watching the draft and living a dream.

"I lived my dream of playing for the great Florida State Seminoles and now I get to live another dream of playing in the NFL. I am eager to get it on myself. It's nerve-wracking, believe me."

The personable Jackson, who emerged as one of the best edge rushers in college football the last two years at Florida State, is one eight Seminoles who are expected to be selected during the two-day draft.

The 6-4, 255-pound Jackson wreaked havoc in the opposing backfield on a weekly basis, recording 125 tackles (72 solos) with 23 quarterback sacks and 33 stops behind the line of scrimmage during his career.

Still, Jackson doesn't exactly know where he fits in the NFL draft puzzle.

Jackson has spent most of the past few months in Tallahassee working out primarily with offensive lineman Montrae Holland. Others who are expected to join that pair in the draft include receivers Talman Gardner and Anquan Boldin, offensive linemen Brett Williams, Todd Williams and Antoine Mirambeau and tailback Nick Maddox

'Somebody just tell me which team I am going to, and let me go at it," Jackson said. "It's kind of like a poker game. Everybody says they like me but they don't want to let everybody else know they like me. They are trying to stay incognito I guess."

While Jackson displays the top-end speed to get up field instantly and string the plays wide, he struggles to maintain position against the larger blockers, according to one scouting service. Still, Jackson's 23 sacks rank fifth on the school's career-record list. Only Darnell Dockett (47, 2000-02) and Ron Simmons (44, 1977-80) had more tackles for losses in FSU history.

"I've been working on improving my strength," Jackson said. "They (NFL scouts) like people who are stronger than I am. But I am a guy who utilizes leverage, speed and quickness. It just all depends what kind of defensive end they want or what they are trying to address. I know when I put my hat on the ball. I know who is going to get to the quarterback first and that's me."

Jackson's smile, energy and good-nature were contagious while at FSU. His inner strength also was recently tested with the passing of his father, who died after a lengthy illness with cancer. Jackson, from Americus, Ga., says he and his family have held together through prayer and love.

Jackson also wanted to thank FSU fans in Tally and beyond for their thoughts and prayers, saying "prayers do change things. It helped me and my Mom get through this and I want to thank everyone in Tallahassee and FSU fans everywhere for their support."

While Jackson plans to be in front of his television Saturday, he wouldn't mind a signal from his father - hopefully before the draft.

"He knows what team I am going to," Jackson said and laughed. "He just won't tell me. You know the Lord knows and he's up there with Him. But he won't even tell me, but that's cool. I understand. I'll just have to wait."


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