2011 Countdown: #49 Jeremy Jackson

2011 Countdown: #49 Jeremy Jackson


July 13, 2011
Jeremy Jackson

Name: Jeremy Jackson
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 203 lbs.
High school: Huron High School in Ann Arbor, MI
Position: Wide receiver
Class: Sophomore
Jersey number: #17
Last year: I ranked Jackson #74 and said he would redshirt.  He caught 4 passes for 55 passes.

Jackson emerged as the only freshman wide receiver to play last season, despite being the lowest regarded as a recruited.  He played in a backup capacity and notched four receptions throughout the year, which is the same number of receptions that Junior Hemingway had as a true freshman back in 2007.  If Jackson and Hemingway have parallel career arcs, that means Jackson will . . . get injured a lot.

There wasn’t much buzz around Jackson this spring, and I imagine that’s the way it’s going to be for him.  He’s a tall red zone target without much speed or elusiveness, which is fine for a role player.  Jerald Robinson, who’s a little more athletic, seemed to garner a more attention this spring.  And with several senior receivers, I don’t imagine that Jackson (or Robinson, for that matter) will be needed to have a big season.  If Brady Hoke and Al Borges intend to spread the field and use four-receiver sets, then we might see a little more depth required at the receiver positions than the old two-back, two-receiver sets that were so common in the Lloyd Carr era.  Jackson likely won’t play a big role this year, but he should see a fair amount of time on the field.

Prediction: Backup wide receiver; 10 catches, 120 yards, 1 touchdown

10 comments

  1. Comments: 21634
    Jul 13, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    While I think this is a fair prediction for 2011, I think you're a little hard on Jackson overall. First off, of the FIVE(!) wideouts recruited in the class [the main reason we took none last year] Jackson was ranked third by Scout (behind Robinson and Miller but ahead of Dileo and Williamson) and second by ESPN (behind Miller). Calling him the least regarded recruit is inaccurate, unless you're just going to ignore 2 of the 3 primary sources in favor of Rivals. More importantly, his offer list (Florida, Nebraska, Iowa) is superior to any other WR in the class, save for Miller (who was hyped early but then rapidly fell in the eyes of many.)

    Secondly, he was, along with Dileo, the only WR to play as a freshman. That showed he had at least some ability. I don't think we should dismiss the fact that Jackson proved to be the most impressive player from a group of 5, at least as a freshman.

    Finally, there is the recruitment of Dwayne Stanford, who is very similar to Jackson in that he is tall, slow, and more of role player on select routes and situations (i.e. goalline) than a game-breaking every-down threat. Stanford may be the better player (and is generally higher regarded), but if you think that Stanford is an important recruit, then I would think Jackson would be viewed in a similar light.

    Maybe it's just my bias (I graduated from Huron as well) but I think Jackson is going to end up being a starting WR on this team in the next couple years. I don't know who will be opposite him (Roundtree, Dileo, Robinson, or some recruits) but having a tall, reliable target is valuable, and right now no one else on the roster can deliver that.

  2. Comments: 21634
    Anonymous
    Jul 13, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    @Lankownia

    In comparison to Robinson and Miller I might consider Jackson the least regarded recruit at WR. Dileo and Williamson seemed destined for slot, and Williams is no longer with us anyhow.

    You say Jackson is a tall reliable target. He caught 4 passes last year. I don't know if that sample size is large enough to start calling him a reliable target.

    I have nothing but the highest hopes for all of our players. With Jackson, I hope he gains a little speed and becomes a reliable target, but right now I feel he is the ~6th best receiver on the team.

  3. Comments: 21634
    Jul 13, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    @ Lankownia 10:28 a.m.

    As Anonymous said above, Dileo and Williamson were both recruited for slot receiver. They don't really apply here. Otherwise, you'd be right that Dileo/Williams were lesser regarded recruits.

    Also, I think Stanford and Jason Croom (the two oversized wide receivers we are pursuing in this class) are better athletes than Jackson.

  4. Comments: 21634
    Lankownia
    Jul 13, 2011 at 7:20 PM

    If you gentlemen want to exclude Dileo for being short, fine. But Williamson was generally considered an outside receiver – a burner who could stretch the field on fly routes but not do much else – i.e. not a slot. Furthermore, Jerald Robinson (who might have ended up at slot under Rodriguez) had not very much recruiting hype, no other significant offers, and lower ranking on the majority of sites. He's 6'2 and has an extremely low 40 time. He's basically hoping to be a taller Roundtree. I know he got some spring hype, but when he was recruited, most people weren't impressed – compared to Jackson or otherwise.

    As a recruit, Jackson's rep was a reliable possession receiver type. That's been reinforced in practice reports and coaching comments since. Obviously, he hasn't played much since he's been behind 3 veterans (Stonum, Odoms, Hemingway) and 2 other older players (Roundtree, Stokes) but its not unreasonable to describe him as a reliable target based on all the information we have. He may be the 6th best WR right now but next year, particularly in a new system, he may be in the top 2.

    @Thunder,

  5. Comments: 21634
    Jul 13, 2011 at 9:08 PM

    @ Lankownia 3:20 p.m.

    Sorry, but Williamson was recruited as a slot.

  6. Comments: 21634
    Jul 13, 2011 at 9:09 PM

    Here's confirmation:

    http://michigan.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=1042184

  7. Comments: 21634
    Lankownia
    Jul 13, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    I don't have a Rivals membership, so I'll take your word for it. Anyway, the Rodriguez staff moved people around all the time. Just googled his Mgoblog post and it says he was starting at slot, but Brian found this an odd fit. Anyway…

    WR are WR. There is no more slot WR position in this offense, just WR that line up in a different spot at times. So if there ever was a formal distinction, it's gone now. Besides, I don't think the Rodriguez staff made as big of a distinction between slots and outside receivers as fans did (and continue to do). It seems like there was a handful of guys dedicated to one or the other, but Roundtree, Odoms, Stokes and others seemed to do both.

    Anyway it's a tangential quibble. I wrote just to give my 2 cents that I think Jackson is a promising prospect. I think he will be a good player, with plenty of opportunity starting next year, and that you're underrating him a bit. We'll see…

  8. Comments: 21634
    Lankownia
    Jul 13, 2011 at 11:12 PM

    One last thing on the WR/slot thing. There's no way the coaches are viewing the slot as a separate position. If they believed in this dichotomy they wouldn't be approaching recruiting the way they have.

    Jackson is the only pure outside WR, with Robinson, Roundtree, and Stokes also available as 'hybrids' (i.e. can fit either slot/outside). T.Robinson, Gallon, and Dileo are pure slots. Add it up and you have, at best, 4 "WR" returning in 2012.

    Does it seem reasonable to turn away 4 star players if you only have 4 WR available? No, of course not. But they did. Now, if you include the 'slot receiver' you have 6 or 7 guys. Then it becomes rational to not recruit many receivers.

    You can argue that they're going to fill that need in 2012 later, but spots are filling up, there are zero commitments, and not really that many offers outside of elite targets have been made.

    We'll see I guess, but the evidence so far indicates that the coaches are fairly comfortable with only have 4 or 5 "WR" on the entire roster if we stick to excluding slots from the position.

  9. Comments: 21634
    Anonymous
    Jul 14, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    It's not excluding Dileo for being short, it's excluding him because that's not his position. In high school, Dileo had >3x the yards rushing and returning than he did receiving. That was in high school…. Having more rushing and returning yards might mean he's just plain better in space than he is between a corner and a sideline. To me, that seems like he'd be much better in the slot than at wide out.

    Wes Welker is a fantastic slot receiver. I don't think he would have the same success at wide out. He's very good in space though.

    Roundtree and Stokes I feel would make great wide outs. They both have speed and decent hands. I would argue both of them need to improve their physicality, but as soon as they have that down, two extremely quality receivers at wide out.

    I even have a bizzare dream that Gallon is going to turn into a Steve Smith-esque wide out next season! My hopes and dreams exceed my realistic expectations.

    So, for the time being, he's not, and Jackson is not as polished as he should be to even be talking about a two-deep, IMincrediblyharshO. More speed please!

  10. Comments: 21634
    thesauce2424
    Jul 14, 2011 at 12:46 PM

    Why does everyone leave out Odoms? He's barely mentioned in our receiving conversations. He has the speed to stretch the field outside, and he could play the slot. Actually, I think he will be on the field in both of those roles this fall.

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