Fall Practice 2006: Jackson’s Work at LB Really Begins

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Al Groh is excited about Rashawn Jackson ‘s potential at linebacker for Virginia.

New Jersey product Rashawn Jackson has been a widely talked about player since the Cavaliers first started recruiting him out of St. Peter’s Prep. After all, he was a high school linebacker with 4.53 speed that played in a successful 3-4 defense. After a redshirt year in 2005 and shoulder surgery in January that limited him in spring practice, the anticipation surrounding Jackson remains high – for Al Groh and fans alike.

Groh, who indicated that Jackson’s shoulder “is fine” in Thursday’s teleconference with reporters, is excited to work with Jackson in the accelerating practice schedule – UVa has only been in full pads for one session before a late practice Thursday afternoon. That shouldn’t be too surprising considering Groh’s background as a linebackers coach, who sees a lot of potential for Jackson.

“I’m very excited about the really concentrated start of coaching him and his development today. We worked with him at linebacker during the December practices leading up to the bowl game – knowing he was going to have the shoulder surgery in January, we wanted to try to get some things done with him from the foundation basis knowing that he was going to miss it the spring,” Groh said.

“We did that really short period with him and here for the last five days, while he’s been participating in everything, the schedule has been sporadic [with different practice schedules and exams]. So now we’re going into two weeks of really concentrated time to really work with him,” he added. “He can be in here as much as he wants to be or needs to be. He has a very high upside at multiple jobs on the defensive and special teams areas.