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GARLAND, Texas - From Pop Warner football to this day, Garland (Texas) High School linebacker Tevin Jackson has intimidated many opponents with his scowl. However, Thursday morning in a packed Garland High auditorium that scowl was nowhere to be found.
In front of his family, coaches, teammates, and classmates the 6-foot-3, 230-pound linebacker was all smiles as he approached the U.S. Army All-American Bowl podium to receive his West Army All-American Bowl jersey.
"It's a big honor man," Jackson said. "God has blessed me with so much, and for them to come to Garland High School it just made my day better. I just want to thank them for coming out and making this a good presentation for me. I'm just blessed and I'm so excited."
Jackson was excited when he initially received news he was extended an invitation to participate in the 10th Anniversary of the prestigious All-American game, but as the presentation day grew closer his excitement overwhelmed him.
"I couldn't even sleep last night," Jackson said. "I tried to forget about it and let it surprise me but it was too hard. I'm just happy. This just got me crunk now. I'm ready to go play tomorrow already."
Jackson is the third Garland Owl to receive the honor along with Chancey Aghayere (2008) and Keith Mills (2001). He also joins an alumni list that includes the likes of college and NFL greats such as Vince Young, Adrian Peterson, Tommie Harris, Reggie Bush, and Derrick Johnson.
"That's a lot for me," Jackson said. "To play in a game where all those good guys played it just makes me want to play better. I'm just happy to play with athletes like them, and that shows I can be just like them and do something with it."
The four-star Rivals100 linebacker is the second University of Texas commitment to be announced as part of the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl joining Haltom defensive end Reggie Wilson, and he is excited to play alongside his future teammate and other high profile athletes.
"We haven't talked yet but I will be trying to talk to Reggie Wilson because I know he's playing too," Jackson said. "And I'm going to try and holler at my boy Jackson Jeffcoat because I've seen him a couple of times at the Junior Days and we talked. I'm also trying to get him to commit to Texas. We can use him"
Jackson and his West teammates will face-off against the East January 9, 2010 at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The game will be televised live on NBC at 1 p.m. EST.