Matt Tait's KU football notebook: Freshman WR Marquis Jackson ready for more

Saturday, October 1, 2011

WR Jackson ready

With his red-shirt already burned, Kansas University freshman Marquis Jackson knows more playing time lies ahead.

He’s ready.

“I’m taking steps forward,” the 6-foot, 205-pound Jackson said. “I’m getting used to the offense and moving faster with the pace and everything.”

Jackson’s first action of the season came two weeks ago against Georgia Tech. He caught two balls — both for first downs — for 23 yards and was targeted three times by KU quarterback Jordan Webb.

Until that point, the plan was to red-shirt the Fort Worth, Texas, native. But with injuries and suspensions at wide receiver, the coaching staff approached Jackson.

“Once I was told I was gonna red-shirt I understood the situation,” he said. “When they came back to me about playing, I said, ‘All right, I’m gonna take the situation and roll with it.’”

As the Jayhawks prepare to open Big 12 Conference play at 11 today by playing host to Texas Tech, Jackson remains very much in the offense’s plans.

Asked to name his biggest strength, Jackson did not point to his huge hands, extraordinary size or incredible athletic ability.

“I think it’s my passion for the game,” he said. “I love to play the game. There’s nothing more I like to do.”

Jackson said he was most entertained by NFL receivers Jeremy Maclin (Philadelphia) and Calvin Johnson (Detroit) but that he tries to mold his game after former Oklahoma State standout and current Dallas Cowboy Dez Bryant.

Jackson said he already had learned a lot from one of his teammates who is in a very similar position. Freshman wide receiver JaCorey Shepherd broke out during KU’s Week 1 victory against McNeese State. Shepherd, 5-11, 170, from Mesquite, Texas, caught three balls for 107 yards and two TDs in the opener.

Beaty familiar with Tech defense

KU receivers coach David Beaty said this week that he and Texas Tech defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow were pretty good friends who went back a long way.

“He is one of the best defensive minds in the country,” Beaty boasted.

With that said, the KU assistant said he felt pretty good about his ability to understand what goes on inside that mind.

“They run a 4-2-5 system and that’s the same as we ran when I was (offensive coordinator) at Rice,” Beaty said. “So I know the scheme pretty well and what they’re trying to accomplish.”

The other thing Beaty knows best about Glasgow is the reason he’s been preaching hard work and focus to his receivers all week.

“He’ll have them ready to play and he’ll have them lined up right,” said Beaty of Glasgow. “We’re gonna have to outplay ’em.”