March 9, 2011

Jackson relieved following National Signing Day

McKeesport (Pa.) defensive end Branden Jackson gave his commitment to Texas Tech a little over a month ago, and although he got an expectedly mixed reaction to his decision, it sounds like his decision was more-so of a relief than anything.

"Man it's been great since National Signing Day. It was great to make the decision and make it official," Jackson said. "It's been a lot more relaxed now without people calling me from all over the country every night. Some people wanted me to go somewhere else of course, but overall everyone has been really supportive and wishing me the best. They know that I was going to get a great opportunity wherever I went, and I'm glad that I'm going to get it at Texas Tech."

Jackson indicated that he would arrive in Lubbock to enroll in classes this summer. He's remained in frequent contact with assistant coach Robert Prunty.

"I still talk to Coach Prunty all the time. We became really close during my recruitment so we obviously have been able to carry that relationship on. Coach P is not a fake guy so nothing has changed really. I can't wait to play football for that man."

Coach Prunty developed a close relationship with Jackson as well as his head coach Jim Ward. Another relationship was established with Jackson's teammate, and 2011 North Carolina signee, Delvon Simmons. With rumors swirling that Simmons has requested a release from his letter of intent with the Tar Heels, Jackson set the record straight.

"Delvon isn't going to North Carolina anymore. His recruitment has definitely opened back up. It's not like he's just wiping everything clean and starting over, but he's definitely looking for another home right now."

And would Jackson like that home to be in Lubbock?

"(Laughing) Man of course. I would love to play with my teammate on the next level," he said. "I'm not sure what Tech's chances are. I'd love for it to happen. If he came down there with me it would get real nasty up front for our defense, no doubt. It's up to him, though. We'll see how it works out."

"I couldn't be any happier with my decision, personally. I love the coaching staff there, and I've obviously got a lot of respect for Coach Prunty. I can't wait to be a Red Raider."

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