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February 3, 2005Long Beach Poly (Calif.) wide out DeSean Jackson shocked many, including his own father, when he put on a Cal hat and announced during the Fox Sports West recruiting special he was going to be a Bear. Jackson talked more about his decision and why he chose Cal over local favorite USC.
"To be honest, I've always really liked Cal," Jackson said. "They have always been my favorite school but USC was in my heart. It's like you what you have been saying, 'USC was in my heart but was Cal was in my head.' I always felt Cal was the best place for me and the best fit for me, but I loved USC too and it was very tough saying no to them.
"About a week after the Orange Bowl, I called up Coach Carroll and actually committed to him. I wanted to be a Trojan and felt like I would do great things there. The thing is though, I had also committed to Coach Tedford on an in-home visit earlier so I had two schools I loved and I really wasn't sure what I was going to do.
"About a week ago, I really started thinking hard about it and just felt like Cal was the best to help me reach my goals. Cal gives me an opportunity to come in and play right away and that was the most important thing to me. It also helps that I think Cal is going to be good for awhile. I know they lose Aaron Rodgers but Coach Tedford is the best coach there is at developing quarterbacks so I know they'll be fine there.
"I also think it's best for me to get away from home so I can grow up on my own. I love my family but I think I need to get away from them and gain some independence. I know I shocked a lot of people tonight because everyone thought I was going to SC. The thing with me though, I'm not a follower, I've never been that way. I had to do what was best for me and I didn't even tell my own family about this. I just kept it to myself so I could surprise everyone and I think I did."
We talked to Jackson's father Bill following his son's announcement to get his reaction.
"I really thought it was going to be USC," Bill said. "I think everyone did but I'm proud of DeSean because he did what was best for him and he didn't care what everyone else was saying. I feel like these past few weeks, I've almost watched him grow from a boy into a man before my very eyes. He made a mature decision tonight and I'm very happy for him. I think he's going to a great place and should do real well at Cal."
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