Sunday was a little nuts. After a weekend of fun and getting to know the coaches and the program at the University of Florida, Miami Norland linebacker Rayshad Jackson let it be known that he was going to be a Gator. The ensuing phone calls and text messages got to be a little much so after a few, he turned the pone off.
We caught up with him on Monday and Jackson let us know what it feels like one day later and just why he chose Florida.
“It feels great to take all of that pressure off of my chest,” he said about the commitment. “The biggest things to me were the academic success rate and knowing that I am coming to a great program. I know that if football doesn’t work out I can get a good job.”
Florida assistant coach Randy Shannon happens to recruit the Miami rea and coaches linebackers for the Gators. He played a big part in landing Jackson along with head coach Jim McElwain, who was a big positive for the head hunting defender, and defensive coordinator Geoff Collins.
“Coach Shannon played a big part because he is the one that recruited me at Arkansas,” Jackson said. “Coach McElwain is a great guy. He is so high spirited with all of his players. He just motivates everybody. Coach Collins is a funny dude. He has great enthusiasm. every time he talks it comes out funny. He’s always joking.”
Collins and Shannon see Jackson playing middle linebacker in the new Gator defense.
“I think they will play me in the middle at linebacker,” Jackson said. “They like that I can cover running backs when they call for me to do that.”
For Jackson the biggest thing for him is the opportunity that Florida presents in terms of being able to play right away. The 6-foot-2, 215 pounder is physically ready and he says that the fans can expect someone that will be on the up and up.
“I am looking forward to getting on the field and playing the most,” he said. “Gator fans can expect a great guy on and off the field. I have a lot of respect for the game of football.”
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