Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
It’s official – no matter how you measure it (unless you think months should have 28 days), we are less than a month from kick-off against North Dakota State. Next up on our radar is #30 Corey Jackson, a freshman defensive back from Central High School in St. Joseph, MO.
While K-State graduated a lot of talent in the secondary, Jackson doesn’t look the part to replenish it at first glance. Standing at 5’9″ and weighing 155 pounds, it’s tempting to look him over and tell him to report to the track team (where he ran a 10.8 100m dash his in high school). Of course, with that speed he may be a running back. That’s actually a safe assumption, as he ran for over 1,500 yards his senior year, averaging just over 7 yards per carry.
So the assumptions above are safe, but this coaching staff doesn’t play it safe. It takes offensive prodigies and turns them into defensive studs. Jackson played a little DB in high school, recording 13 tackles his senior season and batting down one pass. However, his successes came predominantly on offense. Yet Jackson appeared in the Spring Game this year (I couldn’t find independent confirmation that he graduated and enrolled early, although this is the logical assumption we have to make) and played well for the White (second) Team. He had four tackles and intercepted Daniel Sams at the five yard line with less than a minute to play, bringing the ball back 55 yards before finally being taken down (did I mention he may be fast and elusive?).
Given his underutilization on defense in high school – even if his coaches were merely trying to keep his legs fresh as it appears he was pounding the rock constantly – the switch to defense is interesting. Brandon Banks played wide receiver for the Wildcats at only 5’7″ and 149 pounds four years ago, but Jackson didn’t catch many passes out of the backfield in high school and may not have the hands for the position. It looks like Snyder saw a good athlete and brought him on board. Now we sit back and watch what sort of football player the staff can mold him into.
To work backwards in the countdown, visit 31 days, as we preview two players competing to wear the #31 jersey.