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Friday, January 29, 2010
Instant analysis: Why the past helped shape Jeffcoat's decision to attend UT

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Jackson Jeffcoat's decision to attend Texas wasn't surprising.

Texas coach Mack Brown has rarely lost a commitment from an in-state Texas player that he really wanted. And Jeffcoat's announcement Friday morning continued that trend.

Texas' history of nurturing top pass-rushing defensive ends played a big part in Jeffcoat's decision. He only had to look at the work of Brian Orakpo and Sergio Kindle to imagine his possibilities thriving in Will Muschamp's defense.

Orakpo spent one season with Muschamp's defense and developed into a first-round pick for the Washington Redskins. He later became a Pro Bowl selection for the Redskins after his rookie NFL season.

And Kindle also is expected to be a first-round draft pick when the NFL conducts its 2010 draft in April.

At 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, Jeffcoat will report to college with the same lanky frame that both Kindle and Orakpo had when they arrived at college. But it's not a stretch to imagine him filling out to more than 250 pounds like both of his predecessors did before they left college.

By making his decision, Jeffcoat turned his back on family relationships at finalists Oklahoma and Houston. His twin sister Jacqueline will play basketball with the Lady Sooners starting next season. And his father, former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jim Jeffcoat, is Houston's defensive line coach on the staff of Kevin Sumlin.

Despite those strong ties at the other schools, the decision to attend Texas was what Jeffcoat thought he needed to make.

"This decision took so long because I felt comfortable at all of the schools,” Jeffcoat told the Austin American-Statesman.

In the end, he helped separate the schools by looking at which one had done the best job recently of developing players for the NFL draft at his position.