Wide receiver Ruben Jackson proved at this year's NIKE Camp why he's one of the top wide receiver prospects on the West Coast. Measured at 5-foot-10 and 170 pounds, Jackson ran a 4.52/40 and ran a 4.19 shuttle time. At the Nevada-Reno camp, Jackson turned in a 4.47/40 and jumped 37 inches.
Jackson's football career started as an offensive lineman, however.
"When I began in 1996, I played offensive line," Jackson told me. "I was new at it and didn't know anything about football at the time. Then they moved me to tailback and I played there for three years. When I got into high school, I started playing wide receiver."
Jackson also competes in basketball (power forward and shooting guard) and track, where he competes in four events. Jackson said he ran a 10.8/100m at a regional meet earlier this year. Inside the classroom, he carries a 3.2 GPA and is still waiting on SAT scores. As a junior last season, he caught 43 passes for 940 yards and 12 touchdowns. He also played some at cornerback and had three interceptions.
"I had some schools calling in May," he said. "Nebraska, Miami, Oregon, Arizona State, Oklahoma, Michigan, and USC were some of the bigger ones."
The standout wide receiver said he has also received some written scholarship offers.
"My coach gets most of them" he said. "The ones I've seen are from Miami, Cal-Berkley, USC, Oregon State, and Michigan. But I might have more because my coach gets most of them."
Jackson talked about the Hurricanes.
"I like Miami a lot," he said. "They offered both me and Lynell [Hamilton]. I've always wanted to go to Florida. I love the beaches and think that would be a great place to live. The Miami coach said I was in the top five for wide receiver recruiting prospects. They're recruiting me as a wide receiver and punt returner. Miami's definitely near the top."
Jackson said he's trying to keep his options open.
"Right now, I really couldn't say who my top ones are because it's still early," he said. "I need to check out some of the schools that have offered and see who else will."
The talented wide out talked about the possibility of playing together with Hamilton at the next level.
"Lynell and I have been talking a lot about going to the same school," he said. "We've been playing together for almost five years now and would like to continue to. But whatever happens, happens."
Jackson said he's a good friend of a former UM wide receiver.
"I'm friends with Willie Dixon," he said. "He's at San Francisco City College. He played at Miami for a year but didn't like it I guess. We talk, but he never really says why he left."
So what are the chances of the Hurricanes landing Jackson away from the West Coast?
"There's a great chance that I'll leave," he said. "I don't have any problems going East to play college football."
He then talked about the season he hopes to have this fall.
"I want to get faster so I can score more," he said. "And I just want to become a team leader this season."