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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona football notes: Jackson carrying chip on shoulder against Washington

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Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Sir Thomas Jackson was never supposed to be a starting linebacker at Arizona, or even at the UA in general.

The Seattle native had always meant to attend Washington, but by October of his senior year in high school, he realized that it wasn’t in the cards.

“I remember since freshman year [of high school] I always wanted to go there,” Jackson said. “That was my dream.”

Growing up, Jackson went to a few Washington games, and said that he particularly admired Huskie legend Steve Emtman, a former No. 1 overall pick of the Indianpolis Colts.

Jackson, a redshirt freshman, joined the Wildcats as a walk-on, but said he had no intention of doing the same thing with Washington after being “burned” by the program when they didn’t offer him a scholarship. Grades were a factor too, as Jackson didn’t feel he had good enough grades to be accepted by the school.

The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker is sixth on Arizona with 37 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and played the majority of snaps in the first five weeks of the season.

In the end, Jackson is happy how things turned out, even saying he forgives Washington. He didn’t deny carrying a chip on his shoulder, though.

“I just gotta show it on the field and just get this W, that’s all I care about right now,” Jackson said.

Jackson, Hobson for fighting for starting role

For the first five games of the season, Jackson played most, if not all of the defensive snaps, and did a decent job, recording 36 tackles. But most of that playing time came at the expense of sophomore linebacker Hank Hobson, who struggled with injuries in the first few weeks.

Against Stanford, Hobson received the majority of the playing time, primarily because of the Cardinal’s big tight ends. The 6-foot-3, 224-pounder recorded five tackles and is expected to split time with Jackson against Washington as well, with the Huskies 6-foot-6 Austin Seferian-Jenkins catching balls from quarterback Keith Price.

Rodriguez is unsure who will start, but is happy to actually have some competition on defense.

“I have to talk with [defensive coordinator] Jeff Casteel and find out his thoughts,” Rodriguez said. “Right now he’s probably figuring both of them playing an equal amount, but I don’t know who’s going to start.”

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