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All-SWAC DE Jackson to test supplemental draft waters?

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com
Texas Southern is losing a star in defensive end Marquis Jackson, who requested and has been granted his release from the program.

The question for NFL scouts to begin the process of answering is where might Jackson land, and, frankly, should they care?

Jackson, officially listed by Texas Southern at 6-5 and 275 pounds, has earned first team all-conference recognition after each of the past two seasons. This past season he registered 50 tackles, an eye-popping 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks. His twin brother, Malik Jackson, was just drafted (fifth round, No. 137 overall) out of Tennessee by the Denver Broncos.

Success on the football field is nothing new to the brothers. They were named the Co-Defensive Players of the Year by the LA Daily News after starring at Birmingham High School in Lake Balboa, California. Malik signed with Southern Cal out of high school before electing to transfer to Tennessee later in his career. Marquis played junior college football at the College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita (CA) and verbally committed to joining his brother at USC. When the NCAA levied sanctions against USC, however, Malik transferred to Tennessee and Marquis considered other options, including going across town to UCLA, prior to deciding on Texas Southern.

As one might expect given the teams recruiting him, Jackson fared well against SWAC competition. Questions about his maturity and level of committment, however, were a concern.

While listed bigger than his brother according to their respective school websites, Marquis is actually closer to 6-3, 265 pounds than the 6-5, 275 Texas Southern described him as on their roster. While slightly smaller than expected, Marquis is a legitimate NFL-caliber athlete who has been estimated to run in the mid 4.6s.

Because he has already graduated, Jackson could be in position to sign with any number of FBS schools and play immediately. Or, he could elect to petition the NFL for a chance at the supplemental draft.

At this point, Jackson is ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 28 overall defensive end and No. 299th overall prospect for the 2013 draft.

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