Arkansas WR pledge TQ Jackson shines in big win

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Saturday, November 17, 2018
TQ Jackson
TQ Jackson

— As shown by a 52-6 loss at Mississippi State on Saturday on which it’s offense failed to score a touchdown for the first time this year, Arkansas needs playmakers.

Jefferson, Texas standout TQ Jackson (6-3, 190), one of four receivers committed to Arkansas, caught 5 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, had a six-yard run for another score, 5 tackles and two interceptions in his team’s 41-22 win over Mineola.

The Class 3A Division I Region II opening-round state playoff win moved Jefferson to 11-0 under former Tulsa, Okla., Booker T. Washington head coach Antwan Jimmerson.

“You look at his high school career and he has really done some great things for us,” Jimmerson said. “He’s played about everywhere and done about everything for us. He’s returned kicks, played defense and I think he is just only going to get better as a receiver. His route running is only going to get better. Every year he has definitely got better.”

Jackson has 30 catches this season for 738 yards and six touchdowns this season for Jimmerson, who coached former Razorback Felix Jones in high school.

“He has just a tremendous work ethic,” Jimmerson said of Jackson. “There were so many days over the summer where I sit and could see him working out on his own over at the stadium. Our stadium is about a mile from here and we have cameras and you could see him working on his own. It’s a credit to him.”

Jackson is a multi-sport athlete who really doesn’t have an off-season.

“His potential is unbelievable and he is a kid that has always played a lot of sports,” Jimmerson said. “He’s only about 190 pounds right now, but once he gets in an off-season program and is not playing so many sports, you know that he is going to put on weight.”

Jackson will bring blazing speed to the Razorbacks.

“We were watching the game last weekend when we were playing Atlanta and they have a lot of speed and have been the state champions the last two weeks in track,” Jimmerson said. “We bring TQ underneath on a crossing route and he catches the ball on like a five yard route. We are about 50 yards away and there were several secondary guys there, but he just out-runs them. He can definitely put it in the ground and go.”

Jackson joins Nashville’s Treylon Burks (6-3, 210) Murfreesboro, Tenn., Blackman Trey Knox (6-4, 210), Bradenton, Fla., IMG Academy’s Shamar Nash (6-1, 196) as the four wide receivers in a 2019 recruiting class that is ranked 10th nationally by Rivals.

The class also includes the nation’s top tight end in Pulaski Academy’s Hudson Henry (6-5, 230), Sardis, Miss., North Panola quarterback KJ Jefferson (6-3, 215) and Penix City, Ala., Central tailback A’Montae Spivey (6-1, 200).

Jimmerson is very familiar with Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and his staff.

“I’ve known a lot of those guys for a long time and they do a great job,” Jimmerson said. “I was the head coach at Booker T. Washington for a long time.”

Jimmerson is also a big fan of Fayetteville.

“Just the place itself is a homey type place and people get there and love it regardless of the staff that has been there,” Jimmerson said. “People who have been in place higher up have always done a great job just welcoming the kids.

“And now you have this staff in place and they do a great job recruiting and just lay it out for kids.

He got to know the Arkansas staff well when it was as SMU, including running backs coach Jeff Traylor.

“I told Coach Traylor that those guys left a good model for SMU,” Jimmerson said. “We have seen SMU a lot since they came through there and really got SMU out recruiting East Texas and we seem them out all the time.

“Those guys do it the right way and they are honest with kids and just do a good job.”

Jefferson will try to stay unbeaten next Friday when it host Malakoff (8-2) in a second-round game.

“Just experience-wise, we knew that we had a lot of seniors and we were going to return a good group of kids,” Jimmerson said. “But we did lose some really good leadership in our senior class so we told our kids coming back that one of the major keys was how are you guys going to lead?

“So far they have done a good job at being leaders and I am so proud of the way they have encouraged the underclassmen and the way they have encouraged each other. They just like to go out and compete on Friday night and they really play hard.”

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