- Associated Press - Sunday, March 30, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Shawn Jackson said he was encouraged by one of his McLain High School teachers to see the big picture.

This was the picture inside McLain’s auditorium on a recent Tuesday morning.

Jackson returned to his alma mater for an assembly, and students watched him be honored as the “our guy” who did good.

“It doesn’t even seem real,” he told the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/NUJtet).

McLain wanted to express real appreciation for Jackson because he graduated from student-athlete to positive role model in the community.

As a collegiate linebacker the past four seasons, Jackson set University of Tulsa records for sacks and tackles for loss. He ended his career as Conference USA’s defensive player of the year and - remember how he was challenged to see the big picture? - he said he will graduate in May.

Only one player (Nelson Coleman) in TU history collected more career tackles than Jackson.

Has any TU football player ever collected more proclamations in one day?

Four came Jackson’s way (he said his mom will find a place for them) during the assembly, courtesy of the Tulsa City Council, the mayor’s office and two branches of state government.

“I came to read a proclamation about a hero,” City Councilor Jack Henderson said, adding that he doesn’t know Jackson personally. But…

“He is one of my heroes,” Henderson said. “Any time one of the young people in my district does great things, it’s a hero to me.”

Jackson said he was humbled by the love shown to him at the assembly. Was he nervous when his turn at the microphone arrived? Sure.

“But once I started talking, I just spoke from the heart,” he said. “I wanted to get the message across to the kids that you can make it from this community.”

Jackson thanked his family and coaches (all the way back to Little League) for putting him on the right path.

Many former coaches were in attendance, including another McLain favorite son, Shea Seals, who was seated on stage next to Jackson.

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