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May 9, 2012

Asa Jackson Signs Four-Year Deal With Baltimore Ravens

ASA JACKSON VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS (KSBY-TV)
ESPN COVERAGE OF RAVENS' SELECTION OF JACKSON
CAL POLY PLAYERS DRAFTED BY NFL TEAMS
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SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. -- Former Cal Poly cornerback Asa Jackson, drafted in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft last month, has signed a four-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens.

For more information on Jackson's signing, click here.

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Jackson Drafted in Fifth Round by Baltimore

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (4/28/2012) – Cal Poly senior cornerback Asa Jackson was selected in the fifth round of the National Football League Draft by the Baltimore Ravens on Saturday.

Jackson, a compensatory pick, was the 34th player chosen in the fifth round and the 169th overall.

The 5-10, 191-pound Christian Brothers High School (Sacramento) graduate is the seventh Mustang chosen in the top five rounds of the draft.

Chris Gocong, Ramses Barden and Jordan Beck all were selected in the third round, Jimmy Childs and Robbie Martin were chosen in the fourth round and Cecil Turner was a fifth-round pick by the Chicago Bears in 1968.

Barden is still playing for the Giants while Gocong, now a linebacker, was traded to the Cleveland Browns prior to the 2010 season after four seasons with the Eagles.

Jackson, a four-time All-Great West Conference first-team selection, is the first Mustang to be drafted since Barden was chosen by the New York Giants in 2009.

"Baltimore will be surprised with how well Asa can play," said Walsh. "If he stays healthy, he can play eight or 10 good years in the NFL. They will love his intensity and athleticism."

The three-day 2012 NFL Draft concluded Saturday at Radio City Music Hall in New York. Jackson is the first Mustang drafted in the Tim Walsh Era at Cal Poly. He watched the NFL Draft from his parents' home in Sacramento.

"I want to send a big shoutout to Mustang Nation, everybody out there that supported me through this," said Jackson. "I'm going to do my best to represent Cal Poly football." 

Jackson, who participated in the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine last February at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, also participated in NFL pro days at Cal Poly and Carson with a best time of 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He was clocked in 4.49 seconds at the Combine and bench pressed 225 pounds 19 times, earning a 70.5 grade, which translates into a middle-round pick.

Like Barden, Jackson played in the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Jackson started at left cornerback and made two tackles and returned one punt for the North Squad in the 63rd annual event won by the North 23-13.

A total of 27 former Mustang football players have been drafted by NFL teams. In addition to Jackson, Barden, Gocong and Beck, others chosen in the 21st Century include quarterback Seth Burford by the San Diego Chargers in 2002 and defensive back Courtney Brown by the Dallas Cowboys in 2007, both in the seventh round.

A preseason Buck Buchanan Award candidate (he finished 15th in final balloting released Jan. 6), Jackson notched 199 tackles in four seasons with the Mustangs along with eight interceptions (two in each season) and 32 pass breakups. In his senior campaign, Jackson had 54 tackles (31 solo) with two interceptions, both returned for touchdowns, and seven pass breakups.

Jackson also was among the nation's leaders in punt returns last fall, averaging 18.0 yards on eight returns with a long of 41 yards. He returned a theft against South Dakota State 47 yards for a touchdown in 2009 and now owns the school Division I record with his three interception returns for touchdowns. His 14.7 career punt return average is an all-time school mark.

Jackson's interception returns for touchdowns last fall spanned 100 yards against South Dakota State and 52 yards against Central Oklahoma.

In December, Jackson was one of 10 Mustangs selected to the All-Time Great West Conference Team. In addition, former Cal Poly head coach Rich Ellerson was named the team's coach. Ellerson guided Jackson and the Mustangs to their second NCAA FCS postseason playoff berth in 2008.

Also in December, Jackson became Cal Poly's first Associated Press Football Championship Subdivision All-American honoree in three years, named to the third team. He was a third-team Sports Network All-American in both 2010 and 2011.

Selected as Cal Poly's most valuable defensive player for the 2011 season, Jackson landed a spot on College Sports Madness' All-American second team. Jackson also was placed on the Phil Steele Publications third team and was named to the College Sports Journal's inaugural FCS All-America team.

Jackson was named Football Championship Subdivision Punt Returner of the Year by College Football Performance Awards and was selected to the Beyond Sports Network FCS All-American third team.

Jackson earned Great West Freshman Player of the Year honors in 2008 and is the third Mustang to earn all-conference first-team honors four times and the first player in the history of the league to be honored four times on the first-team defense.

The other four-time all-conference first-team Mustangs were Barden and offensive lineman Stephen Field, both from 2005-08.