Jeremy Jackson, #17
In the 2010 Season Countdown, I identified Jackson as the least likely freshman receiver to play. It turns out that I was entirely wrong on my conclusion, but my reasoning was pretty sound. Anyway, Jackson was a Rivals 3-star wide receiver and the #22 player in the state of Michigan, but he was a way early commit (October 1, 2008) who selected the Wolverines over Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska, among others. He attended Ann Arbor (MI) Huron, across town from where his father, Fred, was the running backs coach for the Wolverines.
Fellow class of 2010 wideouts Ricardo Miller and Jerald Robinson redshirted as freshmen (slot receiver Drew Dileo played a little), but Jackson played in ten games and caught 2 passes each against Wisconsin and Ohio State for a total of 55 yards. The hiring of Brady Hoke in 2011 didn’t change Jackson’s role much as he caught 3 passes for 36 yards as a sophomore. As a junior in 2012, he made 4 catches for 31 yards and a whopping 7.8 yards/catch. He achieved career highs in 2013 with 6 catches for 71 yards.
17 catches, 193 yards, 11.4 yards/catch; 3 tackles
Academic All-Big Ten in 2012
I am struggling to come up with the appropriate words to describe Jackson’s career. He is a player whose recruitment and playing career confounded me to some extent. If I’m being bluntly honest, I do not believe he was a Michigan-caliber player, nor am I convinced that he should have played as much as he did. I began seriously following recruiting in 2006, but the 2010 class happened to come about around the time when I started blogging, which caused me to evaluate recruits on a deeper level. I had serious questions at the time about whether Jackson was deserving of an offer, and I think I made some enemies on various message boards by being so insistent. The timing of my blogging “hobby” has nothing to do with Jackson himself, but he represents some of the first strong feelings I had about the direction of Michigan’s recruiting efforts. I’m not sure I’ve seen another Michigan receiver garner so much playing time without having a single skill to hang his hat on – speed, size, blocking ability, hands, leaping ability, running ability, something. In four years, 46 games, and four career starts, Jackson made just 17 catches. By comparison, Dileo played the same four years and saw a similar amount of playing time, but he was able to make 46 catches for 629 yards and 6 touchdowns. Jackson stayed out of trouble and did not detract from the face of the program during his college years (unlike a couple stupid kickers), and I wish I had more positive things to say about a kid who played for four years in a winged helmet.
I WILL REMEMBER HIM FOR . . .
. . . being the first player whose Michigan offer I seriously questioned.
Jackson is listed at 6’3″ and 209 lbs. and I would assume he will participate in Michigan’s pro day later this month, although I am not aware of all the players who are certain to work out that day. However, Jackson’s lack of production and athleticism will likely prevent him from having any kind of professional football career.