Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sacramento Bee: Rice expresses faith in Cal's Jackson

By Jason Jones

BERKELEY – Jerry Rice's size wasn't an issue when he entered the NFL draft out of Mississippi Valley State in 1985. Scouts wanted to know if Rice could run from defenders.  "I had football speed," said Rice, the former 49ers great who later starred with the Raiders. "And there's just something about people when they were chasing me, I was just able to run away from people. The hair would stand up on my back, and I was able to get away because I knew they wanted to hurt me." Running away isn't a problem for Rice's protégé, former Cal standout DeSean Jackson. Butsome wonder if the 5-foot-10, 169-pound Jackson is big enough for the NFL, even though he's projected as a first-round selection in next month's draft.  Rice isn't among the doubters, likening Jackson to the Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith, a diminutive wide receiver who is a three-time All-Pro.

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