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Lawrence Jackson had a huge junior season but never had a game like he had last Friday. The 6-3, 235 pound defensive end from Inglewood (Calif.) had a career high 26 tackles and said the key to his success is a result of him losing 10 pounds.

"I've never felt so quick in my life," Jackson said. "I thought the one thing I needed to improve was my overall speed and I'm running down plays from behind now that I never could have gotten to before. My strength is still there too, I didn't lose anything there. The main thing is I feel so much faster on the field and I have more energy. The other team was running away from me but I was able to still chase down the ball carrier and make the tackle."

Jackson is coming off a season where he was a 1st team All-State Underclass and Student Sports Junior All-American selection. He totaled 134 tackles and 20 quarterback sacks but said he's a much better player this year.

"I didn't just want to rest on what I did last year," Jackson said. "I knew I had to work even harder because teams would be gunning for me. No one knew me that well last year but this year, everyone does. I worked hard all off-season and it's great to see it paying off."

We currently have Jackson the top rated defensive end in the West and top five in the nation. Penn State and Michigan State are the latest to offer but Jackson said he already has a good idea of where he wants to go.

"I'm still feeling USC pretty good right now," Jackson said. "Tennessee is right behind them and I have a trip set up there November 9 when they play Miami. With USC, I really like Ed Orgeron and Pete Carroll. The thing I'm really looking at is how I get along with the head coach and my position coach so that's why USC is so high, I know those two guys the best and we get along so well.

"I still want to wait before I make my decision. I want to see how USC does on the field this year. They always have talent but I want to see if they can put it together. Washington is still in the picture too and they're recruiting me hard. At this point, I'm not sure if I'll take all my trips or not. I'm just going to see how things play out and if I need to, I will. I'm in no hurry to decide right now and I just want to see how the teams do on the field that's very important to me.

Jackson is a five-star recruit as rated by and is considered the No. 3 ranked defensive lineman prospect nationally. Oregon is among his favorites along with USC, Colorado, Miami, Tennessee and Washington.

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