Brandon Jackson to enter NFL Draft

The speculation has run rampant as to the status of one Brandon Jackson, and whether or not he would be going pro. The speculation is at an end now as the talented junior running back is now officially heading to the league.

Nebraska I-back Brandon Jackson announced on Monday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility at Nebraska and make himself eligible for the 2007 National Football League Draft.

 

"Coming off a good year at Nebraska, I felt like the situation and timing was right for me to advance to the professional level. My decision was not based on the last game of the season. It was based on the opportunity in front of me to play at the next level in the NFL.

 

"I want to thank Coach Callahan and the rest of the coaching staff for giving me the opportunity to play Division I football at Nebraska and helping make me a better player. I have had a great three years there and this has been a hard decision to make because I have always tried to put the team first. I also want to thank the athletic administration and especially my academic advisors, Dennis (Leblanc) and Kim (Schellpeper) for helping me out along the way. I will come back to Nebraska and finish my degree.

 

"Finally, I want to thank the Nebraska fans for cheering me on and being the best fans in America. I will be a Husker for life and I hope to represent Nebraska in a great way in the National Football League." 

 

A native of Horn Lake, Miss., Jackson played in 33 games during his three-year Nebraska career and made 11 starts. He finished his career with 1,431 career rushing yards to rank 35th on the Huskers' career charts. Jackson ran for 989 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006 en route to earning first-team All-Big 12 honors from the Associated Press. Jackson had four 100-yard rushing games in 2006, and also caught 33 passes from 313 yards out of the backfield.

 

Coach Bill Callahan statement on Brandon Jackson:

"We have been made aware of Brandon Jackson's decision enter the NFL Draft. I want to thank him for his contributions to the Nebraska football program and we wish him nothing but the best in the future. We were hopeful that he would choose to stay at Nebraska to complete his eligibility and, most importantly, continue to pursue his college degree."

THE SLANT - by, Steve Ryan

With the loss of Jackson, the Huskers seem to have a full stable of I-backs with the return of Marlon Lucky, Kenny Wilson and Cody Glenn. Add to that potential candidates in Quentin Castille, Roy Helu and Marcus Mendoza from the prep ranks, on the surface that would seem to be an idea situation for the big red.

The only problem stems from the obvious, that being that Jackson, while plagued late in the season with a broken hand, was the only consistently healthy back Nebraska had all year. And there is no logical assumption as to just what true freshman can do after they arrive.

The loss of Jackson means the loss of the Huskers most consistent back, the most dependable back and the one back that when given the carries, was able to put up big yards. He was easily the only bright spot against Oklahoma State as the junior amassed almost 190 yards on the ground.

One also has to take into account that of the current commits, only Castille looks to be an every down type of back. Mendoza has the cut back speed and burst, but his size doesn't lend himself to be a consistent presence during the course of a game. And there is speculation about Helu and him playing running back at all. His versatility and size make him an ideal candidate to play on the defensive side, the staff obviously looking to address issues at the safety position.

From our vantage point, Brandon Jackson projects as a day two pick in the NFL, in a rather sparse class in regard to running backs. Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson heads the list followed by Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bush. After that trio there is a bit of a drop off, and Jackson, with good individual workouts along with a solid combine, could squeak into day one of the draft, being perhaps a late second round pick. As it stands Jackson projects to late third round, but no later than the fifth round.


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