April 29, 2012
BEAUMONT, Texas -
Wide receiver Marcus Jackson became the first Lamar University football player since the sport returned to the university in 2010 to sign an NFL contract when he signed a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Jackson (Tyler, Texas) caught 24 passes for 432 yards and six touchdowns in nine games for the Cardinals last season after missing two games with an ankle injury. In his two seasons at Lamar, Jackson hauled in 65 passes for 1,159 yards and 14 touchdowns. Jackson played for Lamar coach Ray Woodard at Navarro College before coming to Lamar after Woodard accepted the LU job.
"I'm very excited for Marcus," Woodard said. "It's a great opportunity for him. He'll give it everything he's got. With his athleticism and intelligence, he has a good chance."
Jackson turned in a strong performance for pro scouts at Lamar's pro day in March.
Jackson scored Lamar's first touchdown since the return on a 26-yard pass from Andre Bevil on Sept. 4, 2010, in a 30-27 loss at McNeese State, a game that saw him haul in six passes for 123 yards.
"I want to thank Marcus for all he has done for me and for our program," Woodard said. "It's something special for him to be the first player from our program to sign with an NFL team. Hopefully, we'll have many more in the future."