The East Valley senior, a wide receiver/defensive back, possessed the speed and skill of a potential Division I football player. But he was lost. That’s when Knights coach Adam Fisher and his wife, Jolene, stepped up.
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“We are literally living the ‘Blind Side’ movie,” says Adam.
Just eight months ago, Jackson told Fisher he had nowhere to go and “I have nobody.”
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Jackson didn’t earn a total load of credits at EV as a freshman. And he fell out of school a month into his sophomore year.
He doesn’t understand where his biological father is because the “issues were serious and he moved away from his mother after his freshman year he said, not needing to be special.
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He bounced about being displaced sometimes and dwelling with four distinct families. “There aren’t many scenarios that are great on the roads,” he said. “I saw some horrible, frightening sides of life.”
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Near the beginning of his junior year he sought a more permanent living arrangement with a CHINS (kid in need of services) request. He approached Fisher when that didn’t work out.
He went into full on tears three times and composed himself three times,” Fisher said of the private assembly last January. “He needed to play college football and said he needed to make life changes.”
Fisher told Jackson he had to alter his life before he could consider college football. He also offered family and his house to Jackson.
I said that before speaking to my wife, Fisher was declared by ”.
“I ‘d achieved my brain’s end,” Jackson said. I got tired of how life was living and needed more construction, love and attention. He (Fisher) had always been straightforward with me. I felt like there was nobody else I could inquire that could help me
A little more than a month after, the Fishers had obtained court-appointed supervision of Jackson. He moved in on March 2 with the Fishers.
The Fishers were all in, so that Jackson could be part of a family holiday including purchasing an airline ticket to Hawaii.
He’d to be part of our family in every manner If he was going to be part of our family,” Adam said.
Independent of each other, Adam and Jolene had started hunting for the most economical round-trip ticket to Hawaii.
“Rodrick was coming with us come hell or high water,” Jolene said.
Life with the Fishers
The Fishers shared ground rules and sat down with Rodrick. There would be a curfew and he’d have chores like in any other family.
We told him we’d do everything possible to create a family setting but there were some non-negotiables to live with us,” Adam said.
Jackson’s life had an instant turn around.
With guidance from his new family, Jackson ended the second term last year with a 3.3 GPA.
Jolene said Rodrick was living about two weeks when they talked about how they were going to refer to each other when they were around relatives and buddies with the Fishers.
“Rodrick said I need to call you mother and father ’ and I said ‘I need to phone you son’,” Adam said.
And while they were in Hawaii, they had family photos taken with Rodrick.
“we’ve them hung on our walls at home,” Jolene said. We understood he wanted to feel he went and wasn’t a visitor in our house like. We made it official.”
He spent the summer doing on-line courses and summer school. But even with the ones and those credits he’ll earn this year, he’s going to drop about three heart credits.
Adam intends to file an adversity with District 7 seeking another year of qualification. He figures Jackson would graduate with one more term.
18 in December turns. When he’ll get his driver’s license that’s. The Fishers have a vehicle for him to drive.
At some point Jackson needs to change his last name to Fisher.
“It’s 10 percent tough and been tough at times but I’d say 90 percent has been really great,” Jolene said. He ’s been such an excellent child. It was an adjustment for him, also, from a poverty perspective to see his needs and some desires also. He was told by us from the start we were going to treat him different than our daughters.”
Said Adam: As we’ve helped him, he’s blessed our lives. Jolene and I’ve developed so considerably. He wanted help. It was the Christian thing to do
EV sports secretary Jackie Fatur has understood Jackson since his freshman year.
We always understood that there was an excellent man in there, but he didn’t have the support system,” Fatur said.
Jackson walks with his head high and smiling around EV. That’s a marked comparison to the Jackson who was downcast and sullen .
As soon as Rodrick moved in with Jolene and Adam he was bombarded with love, fondness … bigtime construction,” Fatur said. “He hadn’t been living with them when I took him aside and said ‘I trust you realize how blessed you’re’. He said ‘Jackie, I’m not going to mess this upward’. Jolene and Adam are saving a life.”
Jackson turned out for the first time for trail . In only his fourth meet, he ran a 10.9 at the Pasco Ask and got fifth in the 100 meters.
He’d to stop soon afterwards due to shin splints in large part because he was putting on weight and becoming more powerful.
He weighed 168 pounds when he moved in with the Fishers. Through great nourishment the 6-foot-2 Jackson weighs 193 pounds.
The University of UTEP and Idaho have offered scholarships contingent upon Jackson becoming academically eligible. Eastern Washington is interested.
Jackson has been electronically timed at 4.51 in the 40, has a 41-inch vertical and can broad jump 10 feet, 1/2 inches.
“His measurables are really great – (NCAA) Division I football excellent,” Fisher said.
Jackson earned second-team All-Great Northern League last year at defensive back and wide receiver. This autumn he’s picked up where he left off. He’s 23 receptions for 553 yards and five touchdowns.
The Fishers can’t wait to see Rodrick’s life plays out from here.
“The storyline will continue, this isn’t the ending,” Adam said. “The largest section for us is on to school and get him graduated and to complete this phase of his life.”
A finish that was far from truth as recent as eight months past.
I need to pinch myself at times,” Jackson said. “God was looking out for me. This has been more and everything.”