People who knew Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson in high school are speaking out against a report that Jackson has gang connections.
Jackson’s coach at Long Beach Poly High School, Raul Lara, was quoted in the NJ.com story about Jackson’s alleged gang affiliations as saying that Jackson “started to hang around some not-so-good people” after his father died. But Lara told the Long Beach Press-Telegram that he did not mean that Jackson was in a gang.
“Gangbanger, what the hell is that about? He’s not a gangbanger. All I was saying was that it was a tragic part of his life when his father died,” Lara said. “He’s not a gangbanger, I don’t know where they’re getting that from, and I didn’t say that he was. I was close with his dad and I know that when his dad passed it really hit him.”
Jackson’s high school counselor Debbie Hughes also said she has seen nothing to indicate that Jackson has gang ties.
“DeSean is a great guy — he was a sweet kid when he was in high school, always very polite and respectful with me,” Hughes said. “There was no gang activity with him. He wasn’t in a gang. That’s not to say other students weren’t, but DeSean definitely wasn’t one of them.”
Before NFL teams consider investing millions of dollars in Jackson, they’ll scrutinize his personal life. If the people at Jackson’s high school are to be believed, NFL teams will like what they find out.