Former Trojan
commits to Hawaii

Defensive lineman Austin Jackson
says he’ll play for UH

If genealogy means anything, the University of Hawaii football recruiting class is beginning to look quite promising.

Defensive lineman Austin Jackson yesterday became the second prospect whose father played in the NFL to orally commit to UH this month. The other is high school linebacker Khevin Peoples, whose father, the late George Peoples, was drafted by the Cowboys and also played for the Patriots and Bucs.

Jackson's father is Melvin Jackson, an offensive lineman who played on USC's 1974 national championship team before becoming a Green Bay Packer.

The younger Jackson also could have won a national title with the Trojans, but he transferred after two years to Mt. San Antonio (Calif.) College.

"It just wasn't a good fit for me," the 6-4, 300-pound Austin Jackson said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Jackson was a linebacker when he came out of high school, but kept gaining weight. One of his coaches at Mt. SAC said Jackson didn't lose his quickness or athleticism.

"He still moves really well and plays with great leverage," defensive line assistant Bob Jastrab said. "He passes the look test and he's a good student. I think he's being overlooked by a lot of bigger schools."

Jackson also visited Iowa State before taking in the Manoa campus last weekend. He said former UH center Dustin Owen, now a Mt. SAC assistant, steered him toward UH.

"He told me it was a good program, and when I visited what he said seemed to be accurate," Jackson said. "I loved the coaching staff and the location."

Jackson, who has two years to play two, said he will not visit any other schools before national letter of intent day Feb. 4.

He is expected to compete for a starting position immediately on UH's depleted defensive line -- probably at tackle, although end has not been ruled out.

The Warriors have commitments from four other players expected to play defensive line: Lawrence Wilson (Farrington/Dixie College), Fale Laeli (Saint Louis), Clarence Tuioti-Mariner (Corona, Calif.) and Keala Watson (Nanakuli).

Others who have said they will sign are: Miramonte High School QB Taylor Humphrey (Orinda, Calif.), CB Turmarian Moreland (Los Angeles Valley College), LB Carl Stokes (Aberdeen, Md.) and Peoples from Blake High School (Tampa, Fla.).


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