Jan. 15, 2008
DeSean Jackson Comments from Tuesday's Media Teleconference:
When he made the decision:
It was honestly a tough decision. After the bowl game, my family and I have kind of been very stressed about the decision. It honestly went to the last minute; it was late last night to early this morning.
On the positives of returning to Cal:
There were definitely a lot of pros on coming back to Cal. It's definitely a great university. I wouldn't change it for anything. My three years experience at Cal have been tremendous. Moving from Los Angeles and going to the Bay Area, I think that was the best thing for me. Like I said, Cal's a great program. I had a lot of support there over my past three years. All the players, all my teammates, counselors, everybody I dealt with -- I wouldn't change anything.
On what was the biggest factor in deciding to go with the NFL:
The biggest thing is that I feel very comfortable with my situation over the past three years. I came in as a freshman and had a lot of success. My sophomore year, I had a lot of success. Basically, this year was a big year for me with being up in the draft and everybody just saying different things. I thought I had a good opportunity from the feedback I got from the NFL. That was the biggest thing was the feedback I received from them. And just the capability that I think I'm able to bring to whatever team I'm at or just being on the football field period, the things I'm able to bring to the football team. I'm definitely very confident with my ability and whatever I need to do to bring to the football team.
On if he will train hard to prepare for the draft:
Definitely, it's a no-brainer. Everybody knows my size, you know my weight but being able to just get mentally and physically ready for the NFL is a big thing. Like I said, it's a no-brainer. I'm going to have to put everything together, and I'm willing to do this and I have to dedicate it, 24 hours. Until the draft, I'm going to have to do everything possible to get myself mentally and physically ready for that level.
On his specific work-out plans:
Right now, I'm just staying close to what I know. I have a good support system at home, just the people I've been working out with since I've been young. My track coach, I have a private track coach that I've been working out with since I was like a little kid. I don't really want to change too much, I just want to stay with what I'm used to doing. He works on a lot of my speed work and things like that. I honestly think I'm in a very comfortable position back home right now.
On if staying another year would increase his chances for a higher selection:
That's a hard question to answer. Obviously, with the mock draft and with everything you hear from the NFL, there's a lot of people that have to do with that, there's no guarantee with that. I try not to look at that. Like I say, I'm very confident in myself and what I'm able to do and the things I can bring to a team so it's basically hard work and dedication that I'm going to have to do right now. When the time's right, and the combine comes and my pro date comes, I'm going to have to prove all the negatives right and that's what I'm dedicating myself to doing right now.
On if there's a particular team he'd like to:
I have a favorite team, which is the Pittsburgh Steelers...but I'm not too into cold weather; wherever I'm going to go, I'm going to have to deal with it. It doesn't really matter to me. Whatever team wants me and is going to take the opportunity to get me, I will go there and do my best. It doesn't really matter where I go, whatever team.
On if he plans to return for his degree:
That's a must for me. You know, my mom, she's definitely very supportive of my school. Like I said, the decision was definitely tough because I had many different people telling me I should do this or I should do this. My mom was the most supportive of my school, and she wanted me to come back to Cal and finish my senior season, she wanted me to get my degree and everything like that. No matter what the situation is, my decision to go to the NFL, I definitely want to come back to Cal, to the great school it is because the education level is wonderful. I have to get my degree, I have no choice but to get it, that would make my mom happy and obviously that would be better for me.
On if coming to Cal was the right decision:
Definitely. Like I said, the experience I had at Cal the past few years, I wouldn't trade it for anything I've ever done in my life. The biggest decision, I think, was leaving Southern California, leaving SC, disappointing all these SC fans. I got called several names for not going to SC, and I was stupid and I was all this but, like I said, it was the best decision for me and my family. To go to Cal was, I mean it was just awesome for me, to be able to get out there. Like I said, Coach Tedford, it was a sure thing. Even before I got here, I just felt a connection with him. Me and him, we just work on the same page together, it was a great situation.
On if any teammates were trying to convince him to stay:
Of course, that happens a lot. A lot of my teammates through this whole process have contacted me, asking me what I was going to do. The biggest thing I told them, it was just a tough decision for me. I just tried to make the best decision for me and that was entering the draft. Like I said, a lot of my teammates would love for me to come back another year and try to win a national championship because that was the biggest thing being at Cal. When I came here to Cal, Coach Tedford was turning the program around tremendously and I honestly felt like that had a lot to do with me too, you know, and the recruiting class that came in the '05 year. It's just a special place. The biggest thing was winning a national championship. I honestly thought that we started off real good this year and we could have done it but there were some things that happened. A lot of people wanted me to come back but I had to make the best decision for me.
Head Coach Jeff Tedford comments:
On the decision process for DeSean:
I think he was truthful when he said it was a really tough decision for him because it's something that has gone through his mind. It's never easy. When we submitted him for the evaluation for the NFL and it came back as a first-round pick, I think that made it very hard for him to turn down. I know him and his family have gone over the last couple weeks and I went down and sat down with him and kind of went over the pros and cons of everything. He's excited. He's a big-time player and he's excited to take the next step.
On DeSean at Cal:
I really think he has been a major part of our success since he's been here. There's no question that he's run a lot of big plays for us and he's a great player. Besides his abilities on the football field, I think it opened an avenue to show other things that they can kind of reach out and do what's best for themselves. We use him as an example all the time with other recruits.
On what Tedford thought Jackson was struggling with in making a decision:
I think the think when you're thinking about being a first-round draft pick, you really have to think about, ok, if I came back to school and I got injured, that type of thing. I think he feels like he has contributed quite a bit to our program and anytime the first-round number comes out, I think that's the biggest thing, to know that he's going to have a legitimate chance of being a first-round pick, and that's something that he's always dreamed of doing. I think he's in a good position right now. I think that's ultimately what the deciding factor was.
On the upcoming receiving corps:
The young guys that are there right now, the young freshmen - Michael Calvin, Jeremy Ross, Alex Lagemann and those guys--are not experienced, but they are very talented players. Others in the program, Lavelle Cunningham, he's had a little bit of game experience. But mainly the recruiting class, we feel really good about our recruiting class right now at that position and are very excited to get those guys underway. We will be young but I think we will be very talented there.
On if loyalty was a factor in Jackson's decision:
Yes, I think so. I think there's a lot with DeSean as far as having to stress out over the decision because he truly does appreciate the team. I think that he's appreciative of what Cal has done for him. So yes, I think he has a tremendous amount of loyalty there or else it would have been a slam dunk for him. But I do know that he was really struggling with the decision.
On what Jackson has to offer an NFL team:
Obviously his speed. He brings some dimensions to the game that are different than other people. His speed, he is a game-breaker and if you look at being able to make game-breaking plays in a game with his speed, I think that's really attractive to the NFL. He has great body control and extraordinary speed that he will bring a lot of positives to the table for any team.
On his relationship with Jackson:
We've always been close. I've always been close with DeSean and I think he relies on me and trusts me for advice. I've tried to be a leader for him to guide him through things he needs to do. I think he's grown quite a bit since he's been at Cal in a lot of ways. We have a very good relationships and I'm sure that we will continue that relationship in the future. I wish him nothing but the best. I appreciate everything that he's done for our program and wish him nothing but success in the future.