The comeback story of East Valley senior football standout Rodrick Jackson has reached as far away as the Big Apple and inspired area youth.
Jackson, who didn’t go to school as a sophomore when he bounced from home to home and lived on the streets, told EV football coach Adam Fisher last January that he wanted to turn his life around. But he needed help.
That’s when Fisher and his wife, Jolene, asked Jackson to move in with their family that included two middle school-aged daughters. “We are literally living the ‘Blind Side’ movie,” said Fisher in an earlier interview for The Spokesman-Review story.
Producers for NBC Nightly News called Fisher the day after a story about Jackson was published. A two-minute-long story aired on the national network last Saturday.
NBC sent a camera crew to the Knights’ game against Clarkston. They got video in the locker room and at the Fisher home as they prayed before a family meal. National reporter Ann Thompson flew to Spokane to interview Jackson and the Fishers.
“It was an unreal experience,” Fisher said.
Since moving in with the Fishers in March, Jackson has prospered in the classroom and in life.
The Fishers and Jackson consider themselves family. When Jackson turns 18 in December he plans to legally change his last name to Fisher.
Fisher said Jackson is humbled by the attention his story has received. Jackson has been contacted by students who have thanked him for inspiring them and having the courage to share his story.
A student from an area high school contacted Jackson through Facebook, Fisher said.
“My dad’s in prison and my mom is a drug dealer. You give me hope,” the student told Jackson. “He hopes others in tough situations can potentially better themselves if they have the courage to ask for help.”
Fisher said the family hears almost daily about people reading or hearing about Rodrick.
“There have been so many heartwarming things. It’s been overwhelming in a positive way,” Fisher said.
Fisher also has been contacted by producers for the Rachal Ray and Ellen DeGeneres shows.
“Rachael Ray wants us to come to New York after the season to be on her show,” Fisher said.
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