Jackson Is Excited About Kelly

Bennett Jackson from Rariton High School (Hazlet, N.J.) is one of three wide receivers that committed to Notre Dame's 2010 recruiting class. Jackson had been keeping an eye on the Notre Dame coaching search and he's excited with the choice Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick made.

Bennett Jackson (6-foot-1, 170-pounds) didn't waver on his commitment to Notre Dame decided to get a new head coach, so it isn't likely that he'll do that now that the Irish have hired Brian Kelly. Bennett hasn't had a chance to speak with Kelly yet, but he's looking forward to getting that opportunity this week.

"I guess I'm a little bit relieved, but I kind of figured that he'd be the coach from the beginning," Jackson responded when asked for his reaction to Kelly being named Notre Dame's new head coach. "I wasn't really that shocked when they announced him as the coach. I've talked to coach Verducci and Dave Peloquin, but I haven't spoken with coach Kelly yet.

"Coach Verducci said to look at this as a good thing. He said he's a good guy and he runs the spread offense. He said that I should have fun and I should look at this as a bonus that I'm starting off with a new coach. He said that he thinks it's a good opportunity for me and I think it's a good opportunity, so I am excited."

Although the news of Kelly's hiring has been covered extensively by the national media, Jackson didn't really get a chance to watch much coverage of Kelly over the weekend.

"I really didn't get to watch many of his interviews, because I've been busy with track," Jackson explained. "But what he's done at Cincinnati and his past with football, he looks like a real good coach. He knows what he's doing, so I'm just looking forward to it.

"He's going to get in touch with me this week on the phone. He has to hire his new staff, so they said he wouldn't be able to stop by this week."

Moving on from Charlie Weis' staff is wide receivers coach Rob Ianello. Ianello accepted the head coaching job at Akron. He would have be Jackson position coach had he stayed.

"It's not going to be a big transition," Jackson said. "Obviously it would have been better if he had stayed, because he recruited me and he liked me right off the bat. I don't know what the new coaches will think of me, but it didn't really impact me or didn't really bother me that much."

Other than becoming familiar with the new coaching staff, Jackson will now focus on being prepared to report to Notre Dame in June. Most of his focus will be geared towrd being in the best shape that he can be.

"I'm going to hit the gym starting tomorrow and keep working on my speed in track," Jackson said. "I do the 55M hurdles and 55M sprint in indoor. I do the 110M hurdles, the 100M and 400M in outdoor track."


IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories