Watson Wants Jackson on the Field

<!--Default NodeId For Bernard Jackson is 1221331,2004--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:1221331]>Bernard Jackson</A> has been practicing exclusively at wide receiver since Sept. 6. After getting in to Saturday's game vs. <!--Default NodeId For Washington State is 559,2004--><A HREF=http://washingtonstate.TheInsiders.com>Washington State</A> for one play — an end-around — it's still up in the air whether Jackson will stay permanently at receiver, or if he'll adopt a "slash" role in the CU offense.

"What we want to do is get Bernard on the field," offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said Monday. "We're not ready to say he's only a receiver. We're giving him more work there because he's got to learn that position right now. But he'll play quarterback too. He's too talented at quarterback (not too)."

Jackson's end-around play was in the game plan for Washington State. When he lined up at receiver it marked the first action in a Buffaloes uniform for the former quarterback from Corona, Calif. He had two options on the play, to pass it down field, or tuck it and run. When his receiving target was covered, Jackson said, he decided to run.

"They didn't bite on it," he said.

Jackson played receiver at Santiago High School his freshman and sophomore years, before switching to quarterback, the position that Colorado recruited him for. He was fourth on the depth chart at quarterback as 2004 preseason camp closed.

But each time Jackson's name has come up over the past year, Watson has mentioned his athleticism. Athleticism does no good when it's on the bench.

The 6-2, 190-pounder said he's happy with the current situation, though he admitted that running routes with the receivers in recent days has left him winded.

"I feel real good," Jackson said about the move. "It's giving me a better opportunity to get on the field. And, hopefully, if things work out, I'll be on the field sooner than you know it."

Certainly, Jackson was not in line to see time in a traditional quarterback role this season, with junior Joel Klatt, sophomore James Cox and redshirt-freshman Brian White playing ahead of him.

The experiment may play into recent reports that Colorado is looking to take two quarterbacks in the 2005 recruiting class, after it was initially thought they would take just one. Patrick Devenny, a quarterback from Granite Bay, Calif., has verbally committed to Colorado.

No matter if Jackson's experiment becomes a permanent move, if he eventually goes back to quarterback, or if he becomes a "slash," a la former Buff Kordell Stewart, Jackson said he just wants to contribute.

"Wherever they need me, whatever they need me to do, I'll do it," he said. "It's not about where I'm playing, it's about the team."

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