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August 22, 2008Former Notre Dame wide receiver Richard Jackson has a new home-- the University of Central Florida.
Jackson, a former four-star prospect at Clermont's East Ridge High School, said Friday he had completed all the necessary paperwork to enroll at UCF next week and should be officially joining the team this weekend.
"It's close to home and only an hour away," Jackson said. "I wanted to be closer to home after being in Indiana. I have family that goes there. My cousin, Jermaine Taylor, plays basketball for them. I know a couple players on the team like Joe Burnett and some other players from Lake County. I felt like it was a better fit for me."
Jackson, who would have been a junior this fall, was granted a release by Notre Dame last week. He visited UCF's practice this past Sunday and checked out South Florida the next day. The Knights and Bulls were the only schools he considered.
"I wanted to make the best choice for me and my family," Jackson said. "That's the reason I came home, to be closer to my family. UCF isn't that far away and it will be nice to be around my family again."
Jackson said his expectation is join the team Sunday after completing a required physical on Saturday. He will initially join the team as a walk-on.
"I'm paying my own way and hopefully I can work my way towards a scholarship," Jackson said.
Unless he is granted a waiver by the NCAA, Jackson will sit out this season and would have two more years of eligibility beginning in 2009.
"I think there's a chance I could play pretty early on," Jackson said. "I talked to them about that when I went out there on Sunday. I haven't talked to them a whole lot this week because I wanted to make sure I did everything on my end by getting enrolled in school."
His family is just as excited about UCF as he is.
"They were pretty happy," Jackson said. "My stepdad and uncle graduated from UCF. My mom is pretty excited too. She had only been to two of my games at Notre Dame and now she can come to every game because it's only an hour away. Now she can see me play football."
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