School Puts Asa Jackson’s NFL Start On Hold

Rookie CB/RS Asa Jackson can’t practice in OTAs before school lets out.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Sunday, May 27th, 2012 at 9:17 am | Categories: 2012 Offseason, Ryan Mink

Nearly as soon as Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson began his NFL career, it was back to school.

Baltimore’s fifth-round pick was able to participate in rookie camp from May 11-13, but can not participate in any more NFL practices until college final exams finish.

Cal Poly’s school year ends on June 8, meaning Jackson missed last week’s OTAs, and will be out next week’s too, before returning for mandatory minicamp on June 10.

“It’s killing me. You have no idea,” he said via phone from California.

“It’s hard because I’m a competitor. I hate that other people are out there getting reps that I could be taking myself and helping better myself so I can be an impact player. I also miss being around the guys and building that camaraderie.”

The international business management major said he’s not active in classes anymore (he took a leave of absence), and doesn’t have any ties to the NCAA because he already signed his NFL contract.

Since Cal Poly, as well as many other California universities, are on the quarters system, their school year ends later than most. It’s the same system that has kept top draft pick Andrew Luck out of the Indianapolis Colts’ OTAs.

“That’s just how it is,” Jackson said. “I have to wait my turn.”

With his free time, Jackson is trying to get as much time as possible in his playbook. He said he’s learning how to play nickel, which is something he didn’t do much of in college.

Nickel would seem to make the most sense for Jackson considering he’s on the smaller side at 5-foot-10, 191 pounds. He could face drastic size disadvantages on the outside.

In the little time he had, Jackson fared well at the Ravens’ rookie minicamp despite it being a big jump from his small-school background.

He had an interception and was frequently around the ball. He’s very quick to break on the ball and plays with a bit of a swagger that will seemingly fit in with the Ravens.

“Getting the mental side is going to be the biggest thing for me,” he said. “But as far as coverage and the speed of the game, I think I’m fine. That was a pleasant surprise for me. I’m going to be in there making plays.”

Tags: , , ,