Spotlight Finds its Way to Jackson

Ever since junior wide receiver Jeremy Jackson committed to Michigan earlier this month, he has seen an increase in attention. Saturday, Michigan fans made sure he knew how much they appreciated his commitment and Jackson made sure potential recruits knew how much he was looking forward to being a Wolverine.

The student section chanted Jeremy Jackson's name as he made his way into Michigan Stadium prior to kickoff on Saturday. Only a junior, it will be over a year before he actually suits up for the Wolverines, but the local product and early commitment is already one of the most recognizable recruits the maize and blue have.

"I mean, it's great," he said of his new found celebrity, "Michigan fans are great fans. I took Ricardo [Miller] and Marvin [Robinson] up there and they said they've never seen anything like it. It's great to have those type of fans throughout town."

Jackson, whose father Fred is the running backs coach at Michigan, has had a unique perspective on this season for the Wolverines. With his insight into the program, he has been able to stay positive through the loss to Michigan State and this season.

"Michigan stayed with them (MSU). They're just as good of a team, but their inexperienced showed. They have a couple young players stepping up and they'll be fine in the future. It's just a rebuilding year. People are being so negative, but every big college program has a rebound year. I'm not really worried, because I know what they're capable of and I know what Rich Rodriguez is capable of."

Jackson says a lot of that positivity has stemmed from his dad.

"He's been trying to win every game possible. He knows in the future, the program will be on the rise and they're going to win a lot of games, it's just going to take time."

Jeremy has taken it upon himself to make sure that other recruits who visit Michigan also see the light at the end of the tunnel.

"I've been talking to a lot of guys and I tell them they should be like me and be part of the program. I tell them how good it's going to be. Marvin Robinson, Christian Lombard, those are two I talk to and I talked to Ricardo. I talked to Devin Gardner too, he's going to wait and make a decision. He told me has lot of offers, so he wants to look at all of his options, he likes Michigan though."

As much as he recruits other players, Jackson is still hearing from schools trying to coerce him into reneging on his commitment.

"Tons of schools do, but I don't really take that seriously anymore. It's not a big deal, I just want to concentrate on other things, that's one of the reasons I committed."

One of those other things is improving his game. Jackson made great strides between this year and last year and wants to continue his development into next year. His Huron club just missed the playoffs this year and with their season over, he wants to do what is necessary to make himself the best player he can be and help the River Rats make that playoff run next year.

"This year I was definitely more of a deep threat receiver, fade routes and stuff and going up and getting the ball. I didn't catch many deep balls last year as I did this year. I want to improve on catching shorter routes and making it go the distance, making the YAC."

Of course, the better he gets and the more success he has as a recruiter, the more attention he is bound to get around town.

"I went into a gas station and the guy knew who I was. It's weird, but also real cool because people know you. He said, I'll be watching you."

For most youngsters, the glare of the spotlight can be a negative. But Jeremy, who plans to study sports marketing at Michigan has a built in defense against developing an attitude.

"My dad brings my head down every day. He brings me back to level."


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