Q&A with Coach Darryl Jackson

Devils Digest sat down with the ASU wide receivers coach to get his thoughts on this offensive unit as they get closer to the season opener with NAU.

Devils Digest: Coach Jackson, with the pre-season winding down, how would you evaluate the wide receivers group?

Darryl Jackson: "We're doing ok for preseason and twenty something practices. We're right where we need to be and looking forward to playing a game in 10 days. The guys have been competitive and have talked to each other and have worked all summer on the passing game."

DD: Terry Richardson was suspended from spring practice, but by all accounts has really stepped up his performance in fall camp. Can you talk about his play?

DJ: "T-Rich has been around all summer and that's when we get the most work done when we get out here and practice… the fall is when you work on plays, and the summer is for chemistry, and he takes care of business."

DD: Rudy Burgess and Jamaal Lewis are relatively new faces at this position. How would you assess their play?

DJ: "Jamaal is doing very well; he's been out here all spring and he had an opportunity to learn what a receiver does outside of a tight end. It's a lot of running you like a deer, you run all day… he was out here learning the offense in June and July and he took advantage of this. Rudy is a natural athlete when he was here as a freshman he played WR before we moved him to RB, it's basically a homecoming for him to get back to him natural position."

DD: Mike Jones showed a lot of promise before his injury. Can you talk about him as he returns to practice?

DJ: "He was out here practicing today; we have a talented group with a lot of speed and intelligence. He is a great player and will continue being a great player. He's had the benefit of being under great players who have helped him out. T-Rich has also done that with the younger players. It's our tradition with the older players taking care of the younger players. He's really helped out with the walk-ons and has taught them a lot."

DD: Nate Kimbrough and Chris McGaha showed flashes of brilliance in camp. How do you feel about their performance thus far, and how have they challenged for a starting role?

"We have our top four with T-Rich, Jamaal, Burgess and Mike Jones, but the one thing in our group is that we have always played six to seven receivers and Chris and Nate have had a really good last week and a half and they will have a chance to play. They will start at special teams and learn how to block and then they will work their way up. They have played great and are right about where they should be with what they know and their confidence level. A lot of it is the speed of the game and they just have to adjust to the game and they have done this."

DD: Do you expect Kyle Williams to redshirt, especially with getting a late start due to his illness?

DJ: "He missed 20 practices, which is something that will come up at some point; the one thing is that these kids are out here to play, it's hard to catch up when you've missed 20 practices."

DD: Lastly, you lost some quality seniors in Derek Hagan, Moey Mutz and Matt Miller. Has the play of this WR's group thus far given you hope that the group can overcome those losses?

DJ: "I don't even compare each receiver group because each one is different. Those guys were with the program for four years and developed with each other…we've had the benefit to watch them grow and develop with that. In our receiver group there is a tradition that the older kids take care of the younger kids to help take care of our losses. We've probably had a faster and more athletic group then we've ever had and were going to find out of Saturdays and this upcoming Thursday."

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