Cam Newton’s work ethic provided a daily example for his teammate, linebacker Princeton Jackson, in 2009 at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas.
“(Newton) went at it in every single practice,” Jackson recalled Sunday.
Jackson made an oral commitment to UNLV at the end of his weekend visit. While he can’t be expected to match the impact Newton had at Auburn, where he won the Heisman Trophy and led the Tigers to the BCS title, Jackson pledged to be a difference-maker for the Rebels.
“We have a young roster. I feel like I can help the young guys,” he said, already sounding like a member of the team.
Jackson (6 feet 2 inches, 230 pounds) is a Rivals.com three-star prospect. He said North Texas and Texas State also offered scholarships and that schools such as Kansas State and Texas Tech had been in contact in recent days.
UNLV also received a commitment from defensive end David Green (6-4, 240) of Wasilla (Alaska) High School. Tight end Beau Smith (6-6, 230), a Scout.com three-star prospect and Rivals two-star recruit, said his decision is between UNLV and San Diego State.
Jackson’s commitment also might include the Rebels’ baseball team. He said he turned down a $40,000 signing bonus with the Washington Nationals coming out of high school. Now that he has selected the Rebels, Jackson wants to bring Blinn teammate Josh McNeill (6-6, 285) with him. McNeill, an offensive lineman, previously visited UNLV.
“I’m working on trying to get him to UNLV,” Jackson said. “I’ve really bought into the opportunity. … The teammates and coaches were the big thing, and seeing how passionate the fans were at the basketball game (Saturday against New Mexico) and the tradition at UNLV.”
Green also visited over the weekend, and was so impressed that he won’t make his planned visit to Washington and will also skip an intended visit to UNR.
“I’m stoked,” Green said of his commitment to UNLV.
Smith, who attends Cedar Park (Texas) High, said he was impressed by Las Vegas on his visit. Scout ranks him as the nation’s No. 74 tight end. He visited San Diego State two weekends ago.
“It’s pretty close,” Smith said. “I’ll probably decide in a couple of more days where I’m going.”
Also, high school cornerback Fred Wilson from Bakersfield, Calif., who has committed to UNLV, told Scout he won’t visit UCLA this weekend after all.
Contact reporter Mark Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2914.