January 24, 2003

Jackson commits to Penn State

Jonathan Jackson is of the opinion that there isn't a need to go far away if everything you want can be found right in your home state.

That opinion just so happened to land Penn State its eighth verbal commitment when the Philadelphia West Catholic standout athlete announced his decision Friday afternoon in a press conference at his school.

"Penn State was just a good fit for me," Jackson said. "It's great academically and then the football program of course is one of the best."

Jackson picked Penn State over Syracuse, which he visited Dec. 13, and Wisconsin, which he visited Dec. 20. He also considered Minnesota, which he visited Dec. 6.

"I didn't want to go too far away when right there at Penn State they had everything I wanted, academically and athletically," Jackson said.

Jackson had three interceptions as a cornerback last season. On offense he had 18 receptions for 387 yards and carried 21 times for 118 yards. He also had eight touchdowns, including one on a kickoff return.

He was named second-team AP big school all-state and is ranked No. 34 in the G&W Recruiting Report PA Top 50.

The Philadelphia Daily News named Jackson a first-team all-city defensive back following the 2002 season.

Penn State recruited Jackson as a defensive back.

The 6-foot-1, 180 pound Jackson said he is hoping to show more than one dimension at Penn State.

"Coaches see speed (in me), but I just want to play," Jackson said. "I want to bring everything. Every quality you can think of in a good player, I want people to see that in me."

He has 4.4 40-yard speed.

Jackson visited Penn State the weekend of Jan. 17-19 and was hosted by safety Chris Harrell, a sophomore last season. Jackson said he got a long very well with Harrell. Jackson said he is also impressed with head coach Joe Paterno.

"He's very interesting. He's old but he's so young," Jackson said. "And he knows his stuff. He knows the game."

Penn State assistant head coach Fran Ganter and assistant coach Brian Norwood recruited Jackson.



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