Q&A with Coach Darryl Jackson

DevilsDigest caught up with ASU's wide receivers coach to review this position's performance in the 2006 and discuss the upcoming bowl game against Hawaii.

DevilsDigest: Coach, how would you assess the group's performance this season?

Darryl Jackson: "We started slow as a group and finished better as a group. A lot of key games the guys played pretty well, being more consistent and catching the ball. For them their confidence level is getting higher which is the more important part." DD: Can you talk about how the new receivers that have stepped up in 2006?

DJ: "No doubt, they're all young and the thing about this entire group is in the beginning of the season no one had any of them in mind. Now at the end of the season, you have Nate Kimbrough and Mike Jones who are sophomores, Chris McGaha and Brandon Smith who are redshirt freshmen and Kyle Williams playing as a true freshman. No one even had them slated to be on the field and those are the guys contributing and helping our team. Those kids have come a long way and that's due to hard work and staying the course. Things were not very smooth and we had more drops than catches and the guys came back every week and battled through it. And now they put themselves in a position to have success, and they had to work their tail off to get to that point."

DD: Injuries and other issues kept your veteran receivers out of the lineup for many games this year. How much has that affected your group?

DJ: "You always like to have your upperclassmen to have a role. Fortunately, we have had some really good guys over the years, but the young guys got to see what it is like and see what is needed to do. But the first time you go out in the game it's a little different. Once they get through that everything else starts to settle down. All these guys have been able to talk to Derek Hagan, and Skyler Fulton, and all those guys have had an opportunity to help those guys out."

DD: How would you rate the chemistry between your group and quarterback Rudy Carpenter as the year played out?

DJ: "I think we as a group we started clicking and a lot of the chemistry is the continuity and the consistency in the group. It's tough for everyone to be consistent when the group is going up and down. As our group became consistent and the developed their roles as receivers it made everything so much more simple for everyone."

DD: Looking at game film, what do you see on Hawaii's defense?

DJ: "They do a lot of different things and make you think on the run, form a cover stand point. Our challenges are to recognize and run the route based on the coverage they show us. Their safety is a big hitter, the strong safety number 31 is a sure tackler and the corners do a good job they keep everyone in front of them."

DD: What are your plans for next year?

DJ: "Our plan right now is to go out here, take our players, have a good time in Hawaii, compete against Hawaii, and try to play their best game as their last game."

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