NU grad a role model during lockout
June 30, 2011
On Wednesday, 155 NFL rookies gathered at a symposium in Florida to ask questions of Commissioner Roger Goodell and Players Association head DeMaurice Smith.
But Andrew Jackson was 3,000 miles away in California.
Jackson, a 2006 graduate of Nevada Union, was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons in the seventh round of the NFL Draft earlier this year.
The start of his professional career, however, has been in limbo ever since due to ongoing labor negotiations between the league and players.
“We all know (the negotiations) could drag on another month or so or even longer,” said Jackson. “We’re hopeful something could happen in the next two weeks.”
While he has not been able to practice with his new team, Jackson has found ways to stay in shape.
He is spending his time in Fresno, where he attended college at California State University, Fresno, working out on his own and with his alma mater.
The difficulty is striking a balance in training and finding the right pace for workouts, said Jackson. Should the lockout end next week, he does not want to be burned out by his off-season training.
In addition to his own regimen, Jackson has visited a number of high school football camps to help teach kids who are just starting out what they need to know.
“I remember when I was in their shoes and somebody would come back who made it to the pros. It was spectacular,” he said. “Now, I try to go back and tell them to follow their passion, whether it’s football or something else.
“For me, it happened to be football, but with anything you’re passionate about, pursue it and get something out of it. That’s what’s important.”
Regarding the rookie symposium, which players had to pay their own way to attend, Jackson was optimistic.
“I was surprised to hear that Goodell went down,” he said. “Hopefully, it leads to something good.”
Jackson said he would probably call up a friend who was there to find out how it went.
NFL training camps are scheduled to start in just more than three weeks.
To contact Sports Writer Anthony Barstow, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4232.
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