The Buccaneers agreed to terms on a four-year contract with second-round draft pick Dexter Jackson as the team finished reporting to training camp on Friday afternoon.
Jackson was the last of Tampa Bay's 2008 draft picks to agree to terms on his rookie contract, but he was signed in time to take part with the rest of the team's 2008 draft class in the team's first practice, which is scheduled for Saturday morning.
"Dexter is elated to be taking part in his first practice as a Buccaneer," said Jackson's agent, Brian Ayrault. "[Bucs senior assistant] Kevin Demoff and [Bucs general manager] Bruce Allen should be commended for working out a fair deal for Dexter."
Jackson joined the Bucs as a second-round pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. He played collegiately at Appalachian State.
The 5-foot-9, 182-pound Jackson has exceptional speed. In fact, he ran the fastest 40-yard dash time (4.35) of any wide receiver in his draft class.
A hamstring injury Jackson suffered on the first day of rookie mini-camp in May slowed him down a bit, but he's back to full speed.
An All-American second-team selection, Jackson caught 30 passes for 688 yards (22.9 avg.) and eight touchdowns as a senior, including an impressive performance in Appalachian State's upset win over Michigan.
In 55 games (25 starts), Jackson hauled in 110 passes for 1,846 yards (16.8 avg.) and 17 touchdowns, which ranks fourth in school history.
Most of Jackson's offensive production came from the slot, which could make him a good fit for Gruden's version of the West Coast offense, which often times calls for receivers to run slants.
The speedy Jackson is also an experienced return specialist. He returned 35 kickoffs for 619 yards (17.7 avg.) and 93 punts for 837 yards (9.0 avg.) and two touchdowns. The return game is where Jackson is expected to make his biggest impact as a rookie.
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