Jackson twins plan to restart careers at UNT

Rashad and Vershad Jackson, twin brothers who started their college careers at New Mexico, both confirmed late Saturday night that they plan on enrolling at UNT.

The former Fort Bend Marshall defensive backs both attended one of UNT’s spring workouts this week and are trying to resume their college careers in Texas.

After considering their options, both said they have settled on UNT has their next stop.

The Jackson brothers said they also considered enrolling at Texas Tech and UTSA.

“We want to stay close to home and go to UNT,” Rashad Jackson said. “We are starting the process of enrolling and are trying to make it official.”

Both brothers are currently taking classes at Blinn College near their home.

“This is going to be a great fit,” Vershad Jackson said. “Coach [Dan] McCarney seems excited about us coming.”

UNT officials have yet to indicate that the brothers will be a part of the program.

UNT recruited both heavily leading up to signing day in 2012. Vershad Jackson and Rashad Jackson originally committed to Washington State in the summer of 2011 before dropping the school in favor of New Mexico.

Rashad Jackson said that UNT was the brothers’ second choice behind Washington State, but they ended up signing with New Mexico largely because of an opportunity to play immediately.

Both played early on at New Mexico in 2012. Vershad Jackson played in seven games on the season, while Rashad Jackson played in six.

The brothers were competing for playing time in New Mexico’s secondary in practices leading up to the 2013 season before a conflict with head coach Bob Davie led to both being dismissed from the team.

Rashad Jackson said that he and his brother hope to have three years of eligibility remaining at UNT and are planning to file a hardship waiver request with the NCAA based on family medical issues that would allow them to play for the Mean Green this season.

The relationship the brothers have with McCarney is a key reason they are targeting the school as their next stop.

“He would call us every Monday while we were being recruited at the same time,” Rashad Jackson said. “We have a great relationship with him and respect him.”

UNT has developed a reputation as a school where players can transfer and receive a second chance or a fresh start in their college careers.

Marcus Trice transferred to UNT from Oklahoma where he played sparingly and developed into an All-Conference USA safety. UNT also recently took on former SMU offensive lineman Sam Rice as a transfer.

Rice was briefly committed to UNT before he elected to sign with the Mustangs.

The situation the Jackson bothers are working through is similar to the one Rice faced. The former Coppell standout left SMU after starting parts of his first two seasons with the Mustangs for UNT, where he had considered continuing his career during his senior year in high school.

UNT returns both of its starting cornerbacks in Kenny Buyers and James Jones from its Heart of Dallas Bowl championship team. Buyers will be a junior in the 2014 season, while Jones will be a senior.

Vershad and Rashad Jackson have used one of their four years of eligibility and their five-year time span in which to use their four years of playing time started in 2012. Rashad Jackson said the brothers hope to have three years remaining and begin playing again at UNT this fall.

The brothers should find out if their plans to enroll at UNT will work out in the next few weeks. Both would have to enroll over the summer and be added to UNT’s roster, a process that is far from finalized.

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