Southwestern DE brings heat off the edge

At 6-feet-6, 245 pounds, Southwestern DE Jared Jackson is a player with the perfect size to get pressure off the edge. However, it was almost not meant to be as he cut most of his athletic chops on the hardwood instead of the gridiron. caught up with the talented defensive end and he talked about why he switched to football and which WAC school recently made him an offer...

"Up until last year, I played basketball," Jackson told recently. "I actually went to Grossmont to play, but I got burned out and after that my heart just wasn't in playing anymore.

"I was just going to go to school and get my degree, but there was something inside me that said I should try football because I always wanted to play it but I never did. So I started looking around and Southwestern said I could come and play for them."

After blowing out his knee in the 2008 season, Jackson got healthy and is now wreaking havoc off the edge for the Jaguars, recording three sacks and leading the team with 46 tackles from his strongside defensive end position.

"I'm still learning a lot right now since I've only played like eight games of football," Jackson said. "I've been getting by a lot on my athletic ability as I learn the right techniques and staying low, keeping my pad-level low enough and stuff like that.

"My coaches said I'm coming along well, but honestly I have a long way to go but I work hard and I have good intensity so I'm just going out with that mindset and as I work on things the rest will come."

Besides his impressive size, Jackson is an athletic freak posting a 365-pound bench press as well as a 4.65 forty time.

Nevada was so impressed with him as an athlete they brought him in for a visit and offered him while he was on campus.

"Going to Reno was great," Jackson said. "I was there when they played Louisiana Tech and it was a good game for me to see because I got to see whem win and play against a talented team.

"The coaches were great and they offered me while I was there. For a second I was thinking about committing, but after talking to my parents and coaches, they said I should just be patient and let things play out for a little while before I make a decision so I didn't commit, but Nevada is real high on my list."

Besides his offer from the Wolfpack, Jackson is also hearing a lot from Arizona, Michigan State, Utah State, San Diego State and Iowa State.

"Arizona is really close to setting up a visit," Jackson said. "They have really started recruiting me hard and said they like my speed and size."

Jackson is on pace to sign his letter-of-intent in December and he'll have two years to play two wherever he ends up.

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