Hog Futures:

Texas WR ready to step in for Hogs

By: Erick Taylor
Published: Saturday, July 13, 2019
T.Q. Jackson is shown in a photo posted to his Twitter page. Jackson is part of a highly-rated group of receivers who will be freshmen this fall at Arkansas.
T.Q. Jackson is shown in a photo posted to his Twitter page. Jackson is part of a highly-rated group of receivers who will be freshmen this fall at Arkansas.

When Jefferson, Texas, wide receiver T.Q. Jackson committed to the University of Arkansas during the summer of 2018, his high school coach, Antwain Jimmerson, was certain the Razorbacks would be getting a player whose work ethic, drive and football IQ would be rivaled by few.

According to Jackson, those qualities weren’t always a part of his make-up.

“Actually, when I was growing up, I wasn’t really even into sports,” Jackson said. “I really was just playing sports just to be playing them. Working at specific skills and things like that, that didn’t really interest me.

T.Q. Jackson At a Glance

CLASS Freshman

POSITION Wide receiver

AGE 18 (born Sept. 13, 2000)

HEIGHT/WEIGHT 6-4, 195 pounds

HOMETOWN Jefferson, Texas

HIGH SCHOOL Jefferson High School

NOTEWORTHY Chose Arkansas over offers from Arkansas State University, SMU, Baylor, Arizona State, Purdue, TCU, Missouri, Houston, Minnesota, Texas Tech and others. … Rated a four-star recruit and the 42nd-ranked wide receiver overall by Rivals. … Rated the No. 70 receiver by ESPN. … Led Jefferson to an 11-1 record as a senior. … Named the District 8-3A Division I Offensive Most Valuable Player as a sophomore and junior. … Caught 119 passes for 2,834 yards and 33 touchdowns from 2016-18.

“But then in around the sixth grade, something kind of clicked, and I started to realize that I was actually pretty good, especially at receiver. I started putting in the work and got better and better in the seventh and eighth grade, but when I made the varsity team in the ninth grade, that’s when I decided that I wanted to take it to the next level.”

Jackson did that and more at Jefferson where he helped lead the Bulldogs to a 30-6 record from 2016-18. But for the multi-sport athlete, the next step in his progression will take place for an Arkansas team that’s trying to crank things up a notch.

The Razorbacks have gone 35-52 since 2012, including a 2-10 mark in 2018 during Chad Morris’ debut season. Better days appear to be ahead. Most recruiting services have Arkansas’ 2019 class ranked among the top 20 nationally largely due to the signings of Jackson and a slew of other highly regarded wide receivers.

“I’m excited,” Jackson said. “We’ve got a great group of receivers coming in, and I want to get in there and get my feet wet. They’ve told me that they don’t plan on redshirting me so I’m going to go in with an open mind.

“I want to go in and earn playing time, just get in wherever I can.”

While Arkansas is bringing in Treylon Burks, Trey Knox and Shamar Nash, who were ranked at receiver No. 11, 39 and 64 respectively by ESPN, Jackson stands out in his own right. The 6-4, 195-pounder, who ESPN had as the nation’s 70th-best receiver, caught 38 passes for 797 yards and 11 touchdowns and returned two punts for scores during his senior year at Jefferson, which lost in the second round of the state playoffs after 11 consecutive victories.

Jackson mentioned that defeat was one of the lowest points he’d experienced in high school, but he reiterated that he had a number of gratifying moments, with his finest being a 7-catch, 115-yard, 3-touchdown effort in a 56-21 victory over Atlanta (Texas), which was ranked No. 1 in Class 3A at the time.

“Going into that game, everyone was doubting us, saying we’d lose and get blown out,” he said. “Atlanta had a bunch of Division I recruits on their team, and we put it on them. It showed a lot of people that no matter who you are, we were going to come at them.”

Jackson was consistent throughout his career at Jefferson, which was one of the top reasons why Power 5 schools such as TCU, Baylor, Arizona, Missouri and Purdue came after him. He had 81 catches for 2,037 yards and 22 touchdowns combined in the two years prior to his final season. As a sophomore, he received his first Division I offer from Morris who was still the head coach at SMU, so a relationship between the two had already been established. Jackson said that connection — not to mention the bond he has with Razorbacks assistant coaches Justin Stepp and Jeff Traylor — made his decision to choose Arkansas a little easier.

“The relationship I have with those guys is genuine,” he said. “They made me feel like Fayetteville was the place I needed to be. And when I got there, it just felt like home.

“It was a different feeling than what I felt when I visited other schools. Arkansas really made me feel like I needed to be a part of them. So I know, with hard work, I’ll be able to make a name for myself and show them that I truly belong there.”

The 10th in a summer series featuring newcomers to the Arkansas football team

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