Florida Playmaker Gets Irish Offer

At 6-3, 205 pounds Richard Jackson is a huge wide receiver prospect. His 72 receptions for 1,236 yards and 11 touchdowns are evidence that he is also a playmaker. Does Notre Dame have a chance to lure this talented player out of the South?

Notre Dame will be graduating three of its most productive wide receivers after the 2005 football season. Irish wide receivers coach Rob Ianello won't want to miss a beat so he'll need to fill those roster spots with some players that are ready to play as soon as they step on campus. Richard Jackson of East Ridge high school (Clermont, Fla.) appears to be a guy the Irish staff will be targeting to step right in for the Irish.

"Notre Dame just offered me," said Jackson. "They hadn't really been recruiting me -- it came up all of a sudden. They asked for my tape and transcripts then they offered. I just spoke with coach Ianello."

"Oh yeah," he said when asked if he had interest in the Irish. "I could definitely see myself playing for Notre Dame. They are putting in a new offense; they're on TV all the time and they have winning tradition."

Richard's step-dad is a big Notre Dame fan, so he grew up watching the Irish. Julius Jones and Arnaz Battle are two former players that he enjoyed watching, although he'd most likely consider himself a Florida State fan.

Nonetheless Notre Dame is a school Richard will definitely give serious consideration.

"They've beaten some good teams, and they don't schedule weak teams," he explained. "My parents are strict when it comes to grades, so that will play into my decision."

Jackson won't be short on options either as Florida State, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Iowa State and Louisville have already offered him a scholarship. Miami, Florida, Clemson and Georgia Tech are also recruiting him heavily.

The Clermont, Fla. native recently visited Florida State for an unofficial visit. He said that he'd likely continue the trend of visiting the in-state schools on unofficial visits and then take official visits to the out of state schools.

The early favorites for three of his official visits would be Notre Dame, Nebraska and Clemson.

While he has a pretty good feel for which schools interest him, Jackson won't announce his decision anytime soon.

"I probably won't decide until December or January," explained Jackson "Once I decide, I'll probably wait to tell everybody at the end of January."

Richard reports a 3.0 g.p.a and a 980 SAT. He's already qualified, but he says that he'll likely take the SAT a couple more time in order to improve on that score.

Comments: The numbers are staggering for a high school receiver. It sounds like Jackson is the type of receiver that is physically ready to step on the field as a freshman. That is exactly the type of athlete Notre Dame needs. He says he wants to make a trip to South Bend, so that is a good sign.

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