RENO, Nev. – The University of Nevada football team signed a standout junior college running back and versatile prep defensive back on Wednesday, the first day for the mid-year signing period.
Running back Don Jackson of Iowa Western CC and Julian Brooks, a safety from Sierra Canyon High School in Southern California, will enroll at Nevada next month and will go through spring drills with the Wolf Pack.
Jackson is a Sacramento native who led Iowa Western to the junior college national championship this season. The 5-10, 210-pounder led the nation in yards per carry with his 8.7-yard average and was the Co-Offensive MVP of the national championship game against Butler (Kans.) CC.
Jackson prepped at Laguna Creek High School in Sacramento, where he ran for more than 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior.
“We’ve followed him for two years since he was the offensive player of the year in Sacramento,” Nevada coach Chris Ault said. “He was on a national championship team this year and he was clearly one of their leaders.”
Brooks is from North Hills, Calif., and was a high school teammate of Wolf Pack freshman quarterback Tyler Stewart at Sierra Canyon High School as the pair led the team to a state championship in 2011 as seniors. He turned down offers from Arizona and Oregon coming out of high school and will enroll next month as a “greyshirt” for Nevada. He’s slotted to play one of the safety positions at Nevada.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Brooks was a two-way standout in high school, earning all-conference honors twice as a receiver and All-CIF honors twice as a defensive back. He combined for 23 touchdowns in two years as a receiver and had 10 interceptions as a junior before playing in just five games during his senior season.
“He was a great two-way player in high school,” Ault said. “He’s a great athlete and, for us, we see him as a safety.”
Ault left open the possibility of one or more additional signees during the mid-year signing period, which ends Jan. 15. The first day of the national signing period is Feb. 6.