Young Huskers: Nebraska still plotting out how to utilize the many talents of freshman Lamar Jackson
Now, for the the final act of this Young Husker series, we turn to a true freshman who could star all over the field.
True freshman Lamar Jackson can seemingly do it all. His high school tape is absurd, and he was arguably the biggest pick up from the Huskers 2016 recruiting class.
He stands at 6-foot-3 and a stout 195 pounds, and is currently taking reps at corner. But he could do much, much more for Nebraska this year.
Who is Lamar Jackson
Jackson was a 4-star recruit from Elk Grove, California. In high school, Jackson played quarterback, running back, linebacker, safety and a little corner.
He turned down offers to Michigan, Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame to come to Lincoln.
What did he do last year
At quarterback, Jackson threw for 544 yards and four touchdowns and added 664 yards on the ground and nine rushing touchdowns. He also had 28 tackles and one pass break-up on the defensive side of the ball.
He was first-team All-State in California and an Under Armour All-American
247sports rated Jackson the No. 81 prospect in the class of 2016, the No. 13 player out of California and No. 5 safety in the country.
He announced his commitment to Nebraska in a video on Bleacher Report.
Why he could break out
Coaches have Jackson working out at cornerback, despite Jackson not having a wealth of experience at that position.
But that’s exactly why they recruited him to Nebraska. To play boundary corner.
“The main thing he wanted to do, he wanted an opportunity to play corner,” secondary coach Brian Stewart said. “And I told him he would, I told him he’d play boundary corner for us. He’s been doing a great job since.”
Stewart joked last week Jackson had played maybe two or three plays of corner before signing, but he’s picking it up well.
Thanks to the summer, Jackson was able to hear the terminology and see some of what Nebraska does defensively, Stewart said. Now, in fall camp, Jackson and the four other true freshman in the secondary can see how Chris Jones or Nate Gerry do it correctly.
“That helps the learning curve right there,” Stewart said.
It also helps that that Jackson was a quarterback, Stewart said. Helps his memory.
Jackson’s athleticism could get him playing time on the special teams unit. At a practice last week Jackson was on the punt team coverage.
It’s too early to say where, exactly, Nebraska will put and utilize Jackson. It’s too early to even say if he’ll get time at corner, Stewart said.
“Once we get into it and we’re scrimmaging and we see the element of tackling and see the element of seeing the ball deep, the element of the up and down when something bad happens and being able to recover from that, those are the type of things that will determine it,” Stewart said of playing time.
Regardless, Jackson gives Nebraska a lot of options. Depth at corner isn’t great, so there’s a good chance he’ll see at the very least some backup time. He also gives the Huskers options in kick-off returns, trick plays or a multitude of defensive schemes.
It’s doubtful Jackson will just be another talented freshman patrolling the sidelines this fall.