It didn’t take long for DeSean Jackson to make his abilities known.
In his first career collegiate game, with his very first touch of the football, the 6-foot-1, 172-pound receiver with 4.3 speed took a pass from quarterback Nate Longshore 31 yards for a score. Later in that same game, Jackson returned his first punt 49 yards down the right sideline for another touchdown.
Now a junior, Jackson continues to impress. The preseason first-team all Pac-10 selection tallied 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns at wide receiver last year.
He is also equally dangerous as a punt returner. Of his 27 career punt returns, Jackson has returned six for touchdowns. His 18.2 yards per return average earned him consensus All-American recognition following the 2006 season.
“Being a wide receiver, a lot of teams focus on me and try to take me out by double teaming me,” Jackson said. “But we have some big play receivers on this team . it’s kind of hard for teams to just focus on me.”
While the CSU coaching staff said that they don’t plan to punt to the dynamic return man, Coach Sonny Lubick said that he knows how dangerous Jackson can be whether he is returning punts or not.
“He can catch a little hitch pass and turn it into a 70-yard gain,” Lubick said. “We’ll know where he is and our safety will know where he is, but he could catch that little pass and be on down the field. We could practice that from now until Christmas and it’s not going to change much.”
When asked if he would punt to himself, Jackson was decidedly discreet.
“That’s a tough question to answer,” Jackson said. “But I would definitely be smart. I would have the right coverages come down and hopefully contain me, but that’s a hard question to answer.”
Jackson By the Numbers:
22.2 – Percentage of punts Jackson has returned for a touchdown in his career
22 – Total touchdowns Jackson has scored in his career (25 games)
4.3 – Seconds he takes to run 40 yards
16.9/21.5 – Career yards per reception/punt return
1- rank among receivers in the nation by The Sporting News