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What makes B-Jack Tick?

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by Pack93z, Jun 20, 2007.

  1. Pack93z
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    Pack93z You retired too? .... Not me. I'm in my prime

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    Sad but even though his father wasn't there in early manhood he still raised his son to be a strong man... becomming more of a fan of this kid :thumbsup:

    http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/sports/index.php?ntid=198025&ntpid=1

    Packers: Rising son

    STEVEN M. SIPPLE Lincoln Journal Star
    June 20, 2007

    So, what exactly makes Brandon Jackson tick?

    Truth is, you probably could point to a number of factors. But one element overrides all others, he says.

    It can be found on a photograph, a timeworn Polaroid picture of his late father, Charles Jackson, who died of complications from an automobile accident when Brandon was 10.

    Jackson kept the Polaroid in his wallet in high school. At the University of Nebraska, he taped the decaying picture to his locker before every game.

    "He doesn't do it to impress anybody," said Larry Gann, who coached the running back at Horn Lake (Miss.) High School. "If you know about (the Polaroid), great. If you don't, that's even better. Brandon doesn't dwell on it. That's not his style.

    "But you always knew his dad was a source of inner motivation to make something out of himself. I know this: Brandon had an awful lot of built-in determination that came from somewhere."

    Jackson, the Green Bay Packers' second-round draft pick in April, isn't about to let up now. He is a frontrunner in what appears to be a wide-open race for the Packers' starting halfback job - the team finished up its annual organized team activities Tuesday.

    He understands he will be handed nothing. This much is certain: If the NFL road ever becomes rocky for Jackson, his personal history suggests he won't flinch.

    "My brothers and my mom say I got the adversity part of me from him," said Jackson, referring to his father. "I can handle adversity."

    A challenging road

    To be sure, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Jackson handled his share of setbacks at Nebraska.

    Soon after arriving on campus in 2004, Cornhuskers coaches nicknamed him "man-child" because of a sculpted physique that would have made a standout NFL running back proud. Jackson was notoriously shy, reluctant to talk to reporters.

    He let his play do the talking, and it spoke loudly. He finished his freshman season with 390 rushing yards and six touchdowns while adding 359 kickoff return yards on 17 returns (21.1 average).

    Then came a rash of shoulder injuries and a spiral toward the bottom of the depth chart.

    He tore the labrum in his right shoulder in the spring of 2005 and in the ensuing season was limited to 18 carries for 52 yards. He missed all of spring practice last year following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his other shoulder.

    As a result of the injuries, Jackson faded into the background, becoming almost a forgotten man early last season in Nebraska's four-man I-back committee.

    "I'm always the guy who's not in the spotlight," Jackson said. "When I was recruited (to Nebraska), I didn't think I was really in the spotlight and I was OK with all that. I don't worry about that kind of stuff. I just keep my head in the playbook and my work ethic where it's supposed to be."

    After Nebraska's I-back foursome shared carries nearly evenly during the first five games last season, Jackson began to separate from the pack. He ended up as the team's leading rusher, carrying 188 times for 989 yards (5.3 per carry), and ranked third with 33 receptions (for 313 yards).

    Jackson thinks he should fit nicely in the Packers' zone-blocking running scheme because he played in a similar system at Nebraska under coach Bill Callahan, the former Oakland Raiders coach who worked as an assistant at the University of Wisconsin from 1990 to '94.

    Gann, the longtime high school coach in Mississippi, believes Jackson's natural talent and instincts would be a good fit in any system.

    "A running back either has moves or he doesn't, and Brandon has them," Gann said. "That's what separates the great ones from the rest.

    Brandon just has a built-in ability to change directions without losing speed. That's something the (NFL) scouts told me when they called.

    "Brandon also has great vision. You can help a player with that part a little bit, but for the most part you either have it or you don't, and he has it."

    Sweet vindication

    Jackson surprised the Husker Nation in January with his decision to skip his senior season. He stayed mum about the subject publicly until the last minute lest his coaches try to talk him out of it.

    Many questioned Jackson's decision.

    "I'm sure in his mind there is (vindication), but he ain't gonna say it," said Gann, referring to Jackson's second-round selection. "Brandon will just smile and keep it to himself. That tells you what kind of character he has."

    Charles Jackson played a role in Brandon's development as a person.

    "I just remember he was a very strong individual, taking care of us, making sure we had food and were acting right," he said. "We were very disciplined when we were around him. We knew what and what not to do around him. He was a good man. He took care of us."

    Jackson made the jump to the NFL in part so he could better care for his mother, Barbara, a registered nurse who works at a nursing home despite suffering from diabetes.

    She was the one who encouraged Brandon to leave the state of Mississippi and go to Nebraska "and see the world, just see new things," Brandon said.

    See new things and do new things - things that no doubt would make his father proud.
  2. warhawk
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    warhawk Cheesehead

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    I like the fact this team is loaded with players that have been thru a bunch and want to earn a spot here and aren't cocky jerks that are full of themselves.

    I would much rather have high character guys willing to work and earn a spot over a situation like the Bears where it seems like they all want to be on the next Mayflower and allowed to "explore" other possibilities.

    We have a number of guys like Jackson that will be there in the fourth quarter when the games on the line. There won't be no back up in them that's for sure.

    You see situations like the Titans where Lendale is all puffed up and uninspired coming from a program at USC where everything came easy having twice the talent of the teams they usually faced.

    My gut tells me Jackson, because of his heart, will smoke Lendale White in the pros.
  3. cyoung
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    cyoung Cheesehead

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    I like it, the packers seemed to get players that arent spoiled brats, but had to work to get where they are.
  4. cheesey
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    cheesey Cheesehead

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    They seem to get guys with good attitudes for the most part.
    Being a Packer fan, I'm REALLY pulling for this guy!
  5. CaliforniaCheez
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    CaliforniaCheez Cheesehead

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    Until he signes and becomes a Packer I will be concerned.

    This guy is going to be the starting RB and a lot of the success of the Packers this season depends on this guy.

    I very much want him to succeed and avoid any injury.

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