June 14, 2009

Jackson's passion has his eyes set on the NFL

While we talk to 100's of recruits each season trying to both help them get noticed on their way to college as well as report the latest news, it's not as often that we get to talk to a young man who has such an obvious passion for the game of football as does Roseville (CA) Sierra C.C. defensive end Perry Jackson.

Jackson, who stands at 6-foot-2, 250 pounds, currently holds offers from Colorado State, San Diego State and Utah, all of which he received a month ago. While he's not too familiar with the Mountain West Conference, that doesn't distract his interest in the three schools.

"I know Utah plays some great football and they average only one or two losses a year. They really have some great coaches up there," Jackson said. "For San Diego State, I know they just fired all of their coaches this past year and their looking for a big change in that program. I also lived in San Deigo for three years of my life so I know a lot about the area.

"As for Colorado State, I don't know a lot. I know it's a beautiful place to go, but I do not know a lot about the football there."

This is Jackson's second time around being recruited by FBS schools, as he was committed to the University of Nevada-Reno out of high school, but was unable to qualify. He currently reports a 3.29 GPA and says that going Sierra C.C. has been a huge blessing after they eye-opener Nevada gave him when it comes to academics.

While Jackson now understands the importance of academics and is making the grade in the classroom, that does not change his ultimate goal-to play football in the NFL.

"The main thing I'm looking for when I'm choosing a school is that I have to live my life one step at a time, which means that I worry at one season at a time when I get there. Still, the biggest thing I want to do is get to the NFL. I don't know anything else in this life but football so the only way I'm going to be able to make it there is with a great position coach and I want him to know every little things that I need to improve on in order to reach my goal and one who will shape and mold me-someone who will put all of their passion into me as if they were the one playing the game."

The respective defensive line coaches at the schools who have offered Jackson are Scott Brown of CSU, with 14 former players who have headed to the NFL; John Pease of Utah, who will be entering his first year with the Utes has 19 years as an NFL assistant coach; and SDSU's first year head coach Brady Hoke who just led Ball State to a school-record 12 wins in 2008.

Three other schools currently showing a heavy interest in Perry are Arizona, Arizona State and Oregon State, but none of them have offered as of yet. With those three Pac-10 schools in addition to the three MWC school that have offered, Jackson feels it is important for him to narrow down a top five with his coach, Jeff Tisdale, once it comes time for making official visits and make sure that he gets to actually see all of those schools in person.

"At this point, when it comes time for me to make my decision, I really want to at least take my five visits. I really want to go off and see the schools, but I also know that colleges have a window they're trying to close, that recruiting window. You know what I mean? Who is going to come and who is not going to come and they need to find someone to fill their spots and that's the way it goes-it's a business. I really want to check out the schools and see how the coaches are, but given how I'm at a junior college now, not at a high school, I play on Saturdays; therefore, I'm not able to take as many visits as I'd want to.

"Honestly, right now it will be my head coach who helps make some decisions with me. I'll tell him my top five from the schools that have offered me and we'll sit down together and we'll discuss the good and the bad of each school and go from there. I know that [Tisdale] will hold me in his best interest... I also don't want to be one of those guys who coaches see as just dragging their feet by not making a decision when they need to know who their guy is, but at the same time I need to make the right one."

Before concluding the conversation with the Sierra CC defensive end, he added something that helped prove his pure love for the game.

"Just let me say this, I look at this recruiting as inspiration. It inspires me to just want to push for more. I know that me getting scholarship offers doesn't mean that I'm going here or I'm going there and I'm guaranteed a place to go, but it gives me something to work towards. I know those colleges are saying, 'you do something for me, I'll do something for your,' and that's what I want to do because I have a true passion for this game and I want to make it to the next level. I want to strive to be better."

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