Two years out of high school, former Truckee linebacker Jackson Weed thought his football-playing days were over.
Little did he realize, they were just getting started.
The Wolverines’ 3A Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, Weed was living in Reno and working construction in Truckee in 2012 when he received a call from former high school teammate Mitch Nelson, who was playing football at Santa Barbara City College along with fellow Truckee grad Colin Christian.
Nelson convinced Weed to follow suit — among a handful of other Truckee players — and now, after two years of linebacking at Santa Barbara, Weed is ready to take his game to the next level.
Thursday of last week, he signed his letter of intent to play at Glenville State University, a competitive Division II college in West Virginia.
“I think it’s definitely going to be a culture shock,” Weed said Wednesday from Santa Barbara. “But I’m kind of looking forward to it, because I feel like I’m at the point in time where I’m ready to move on and take a new step in life and see the rest of the world. I’ve never been anywhere past Texas.”
Weed, who’s listed at 6 foot and 225 pounds, said Glenville State offered him an athletic scholarship that covers $12,000 of his $14,000 tuition.
He took a roundabout path to get it.
Weed tried playing at Fullerton College the summer after graduating high school, which didn’t work out. He then transferred to Feather River College in Quincy the same fall. But that, too, did not pan out.
“I was only 17 years old, I was out of shape and I was not aware of what it took to compete at the next level,” said Weed, who was still nursing a groin injury from high school.
He soon quit and moved back to Truckee.
It wasn’t until two years later that he decided to give it another go at Nelson’s prodding, joining a crew of former Truckee players at Santa Barbara City College, where he still had two years of eligibility by way of a medical redshirt.
The Vaqueros are accustomed to Truckee talent. Randon Nunez paved the way after starring for Santa Barbara defensively in the mid 2000s. After Nunez came Nelson, Christian, Weed, Morgan Nevin, Dillon Sheedy, Jake Pettit and Braden Waters.
“It was awesome,” Weed said of his two seasons at Santa Barbara. “Randon Nunez came down here and put in a good name for us. And then Mitch and Colin followed him in 2011. So as soon as I got here the coaches knew who I was because they were aware of the Truckee guys. So even though there were some expectations to fill, it was better than being a nobody and then having to prove myself.”
Weed recorded 45 tackles in only seven games as a freshman, as he missed some time with an injury. He then tallied 39 tackles in six games as a sophomore, which also was cut short with an injury.
He’s healthy now, however, and ready to inflict damage.