Fla. DE Jackson high on academics, Stanford

As followers of Stanford football recruiting are well aware, the class of 2010 features an unusually high number of top-notch defensive end prospects that have shown interest in the Cardinal. Fast-rising Florida prospect Tim Jackson may be one of the less talked about players in that group, but he also might be one of the most talented…

A three-star prospect out of Gibbs HS in St. Petersburg, Tim Jackson reports offers from Stanford, Kentucky, Auburn, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Tulane, Indiana, FIU, USF, Purdue, UAB and Georgia Southern, in addition to interest from Florida, UCF, and Ole Miss.

"I'm going to keep my recruitment open this spring and then try to narrow the list down in the early summertime," Jackson said. "I want to take all five of my [official] visits and then hopefully make a decision in early December."

Jackson knows what he's looking for in his ideal program as well.

I'm looking for a strong tradition, prestige, academics, and a chance to win," Jackson said.

While Stanford seems to fit that description pretty well, a possible roadblock in the Cardinal's pursuit of Jackson, or many East Coast prospects for that matter, is distance. Fortunately for the Cardinal, however, both Jackson and his parents are more than open to the possibility of him playing his college football on the West Coast.

"No, [distance] isn't really a factor," Jackson said. "My parents and I are fine with me going out to different parts of the country. … My family's favorite is Stanford based on the academic part. I will take their input but I will be making the final call."

Any anxiety on Jackson's part that could come from attending a school 3,000 miles away might be partially alleviated by the relationship he has with 2010 Stanford commit Tate Nichols.

"I know Tate Nichols," Jackson said. "He just committed about a month ago. It would help to know someone there -- I guess that will go a ways. He's actually been to the campus so he told me a bit about it. I hadn't been there yet, so I'm basically just going by word of mouth."

And like the 6'7, 240-pound Nichols, the 6'4, 215-pound Jackson possesses an ideal combination of size, speed, and strength.

"I'm quick off the ball," said Jackson, who reports a 4.65 forty-yard dash, 315-pound bench press, and 455-pound squat. "My speed off the edge is good and I'm deceptively strong."

Jackson, who plans to major in either nutrition or sports management, has a 3.7 GPA and a two-part 1120 SAT, with no plans for a retake. With the writing score included, Jackson says he scored a 1620 on the three-part SAT.

"I'm alright with that score," Jackson said. "Stanford said that was a good enough score."

The Stanford coaching staff is also asking Jackson to further challenge himself academically by taking a difficult course load in his senior year

"They want to me to take some strong classes my senior year and not just coast through it," Jackson said. "[They'd like] some advanced placement classes, but they didn't give me a number."

Jackson said that he plans to visit Stanford on one of his five official visits next fall.

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