Signee Spotlight: Linebacker Rayshad Jackson

Rayshad Jackson has something to prove. Forget about the 3-stars by his name and he is probably better than that. More than anything, he wants to prove he can finish the job when it comes to school and make sure that football isn’t the only thing he can hang his hat on.

National Signing Day has come and gone and for a lot of the newly signed prospects, a huge sense of relief has come over them. That includes Miami Norland star linebacker Rayshad Jackson.

“It feels great,” Jackson said after signing with the Gators on Wednesday of last week. “All the pressure and stress during the recruiting process is gone and knowing that I am getting ahead in life.”

For Jackson, he loves the fact that a big power program like Florida came knocking for his services, but more importantly, he wants to be the first one in his family with a college degree.

“It feels awesome knowing I am a Gator and that Florida is a nationally known team,” he said. “All my family and people are looking up to me because I am the first person in my family going off to college and do big things. My parents are very proud and they have high expectations of me. A lot of people are expecting more form me. All the kids and little brothers look up to me."

When Jackson was on campus a few weeks back, he got to tour the academic side of things and he also got a feel for the video journalism department, something he really wasn’t inclined to look at. It opened his eyes a bit.

“I chose Florida because I was looking at the education,” Jackson said. “The way it was impressed on me, it was clear that if football doesn’t work out I will have a great opportunity to succeed in life. I will study business or journalism. I am undecided. Being in the studio it caught my eye and am kind of into it.”

Florida assistant Randy Shannon was big in the recruitment for several South Florida signees last week including Jackson. Even so, Jackson says he understands he didn’t pick Florida for the coaches that are here.

“I can’t worry about the coach, because I know they can leave at any time,” he said. “I was sold on the program itself.”

He laughed when I asked if his mother would likely be a ball of tears when he heads away to school in June. He answered in the affirmative, but it is an exciting time and he shared what Florida is going to get from Rayshad as a person and a player.

“I am a great person to be around, I give a positive vibe and someone everyone will want to be around,” he said. “Florida is getting a highly talented player at linebacker and also as a defensive end, a great pass rusher.”

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