Sooner Rather Than Later

Bennett Jackson is set to take the SAT in May. The standout receiver from Raritan High in Hazlet, N.J., didn't expect any major developments between him and Notre Dame until he got those results back.

In fact, that's what Irish assistant coach Frank Verducci told Bennett Jackson.

That was until head coach Charlie Weis finally got a chance to watch the 6-foot-1, 165-pound Jackson's film.

"I've been getting letters from them a lot, and they said they were only going to offer me after I took my SAT," Jackson began. "Coach (Verducci) called me (Thursday), and the head coach got to look at my tape this week, he didn't get to look at it before, and he said he liked it a lot and they offered me over the phone.

"I was just excited."

Jackson also holds scholarship offers from Pittsburgh, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota and Syracuse. He spoke with Weis for several minutes.

"He said I'm going to go from being a normal recruit to a national recruit, and they're really interested in me, and he likes the way I play, and he said I can be a big player for them soon.

"It excited me a lot. I was pretty pumped about it because that's probably the best school that's offered me so far. I like Notre Dame, it's a great school. My mom was real excited about it, as was the rest of the family."

The Irish coaching staff likes Jackson as a slot receiver and potential return man. This past season, he caught 36 passes for 806 yards and four touchdowns. He also had five rushing touchdowns, two punt returns for a score, and one kickoff return for six points. He runs the 40-yard dash in 4.51 seconds.

Jackson has been keeping in contact with Verducci for awhile now. His head coach at Raritan is an old friend of Verducci's.

"He's a nice guy," Jackson said of Verducci. "Seems real nice. He's friends with my coach, so he has to be a pretty good guy. I think they played together in college. I know they've been friends for awhile now."

Jackson has been watching Notre Dame for awhile, but doesn't know that much about the program.

"I've watched then play a lot, but I didn't pay close attention to them as much as I'm about to."

Jackson has visited Boston College and Pittsburgh. He claims no favorites early in the recruiting process.

"When I start scheduling visits, I'll get favorites," Jackson said. "Notre Dame is probably going to be the next school I want to visit. It will probably be in June or late May."

Jackson has a 2.8 GPA, and would like to major in sports medicine.

"A good campus, a place I can see myself at, good academics as well as football, and a good coaching staff with nice guys I wouldn't mind being around," he said of what he's looking for in a school. Top Stories