With just 24 days remaining until kick-off against North Dakota State and training camp well under way for the Wildcats (players reported Friday and broke camp Saturday), today we bring you another delightful double-header in our ongoing list of player previews. Charles Jones and Nate Jackson are both entering their first year of eligibility for K-State and were each listed as #24 on the team’s spring roster. They will each be competing to earn playing time with that roster number this year.
Jones is a native of Mandeville, LA and played ball at Mandeville High School. After redshirting in 2012, he hopes to add depth to a group of players behind John Hubert that are long on talent but short on on-field accomplishments. At 5’10” and 200 pounds, he brings size to the position that is otherwise a bit lacking on the team.
Jones was a stellar high school player and started three years on his team. His senior season was phenomenal, as he rushed for 1,767 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also demonstrated versatility in catching 31 passes for 321 yards. His achievements led to a Louisiana All-State Honorable Mention selection.
Jones is unlikely to see a lot of playing time at the running back position but has the physical talent to be a solid special teams performer. He did start for the White (second) Team during the spring scrimmage, leading his side with 40 yards on 14 carries, as well as a 10 yard kick return. He got a lot of work during the game and was constantly bottled up as he hit an offensive line overpowered by the Wildcats’ starters. However, he demonstrated so solid potential and could be a player to watch in 2014 and beyond.
Jackson was one of two junior college transfers that came to K-State last winter that were ranked among the top 100 in the nation, and was actually ranked #24 according to ESPN. A solid cornerback prospect, he is expected to compete for a starting spot this year and at minimum will see time in nickel/dime packages.
Jackson came to K-State from the College of San Mateo (California), where he had nine interceptions over two years and earned all-conference honors in 2011. He also started for the White Squad this spring (Jackson was an early enrollee) and led the side with five tackles. A native of California, Jackson came to Manhattan for a combination of the school’s history with JUCO players and prospect of immediate playing time given the turnover on defense. It looks like he’s ready to start competing for that spot.