CF Annual interview with Coach Larry Jackson

It's all in the eyes when you meet Coach Jackson. His enthusiasm is above and beyond anything you might expect. He loves his job and he loves his students. He also loves to talk about that student athlete and the person inside the uniform.

It's all in the eyes when you meet Coach Jackson. His enthusiasm is above and beyond anything you might expect. He loves his job and he loves his students. He also loves to talk about that student athlete and the person inside the uniform.

So, here we go.

Coach and I always enjoy this interview and we like to get inside some of the personalities. Here is the 2010 all team characters:

1.Case Keenum because he sets tone for the entire team. He is a spiritual leader and a very good one.

2.Matt Nicholson is an intense workout warrior and inspires others with his leadership and intensity.

3.Chris Thompson and Issiah Thompson are the two funny guys on our team, always cracking jokes and having fun.

4.Matangi Tonga is our newcomer funny guy and has fun while working hard in the weight room. He will not disappoint us this coming season. He's a player.

5.Phillip Steward and George Bamfo are the other funny pair always ragging on each other and other linebackers. All in fun.

Team leaders

Offense - Case Keenum
Defense - Matt Nicholson

Fastest speed

Offense - Patrick Edwards, Tyron Carrier, Kierrie Johnson
Defense – Loyce Means


Offense – Chris Thompson
Defense – David Hunter

Most agile

Offense – Five guys including two freshmen
Defense – Marcus McGraw

Best reads

Offense – Case Keenum
Defense – Marcus McGraw

Most game

Offense – Case Keenum
Defense – Marcus McGraw

Smart players

Offense – Case Keenum
Defense – Zeke Riser

JS - What can we do about all the fake injuries we are seeing like the ones in the Okie St. and Texas Tech games last season. It is obvious we had both teams worn out in the late third and 4th quarters.
LJ - Better ask Coach Sumlin that question.

JS - Coach, it's fairly obvious that the recruiting classes are more talented the last couple of years which means we are improving at a good pace and we are moving up in ratings each season. Being in a NQ Conference, do you see a limit or is that achievement up to all involved in the program?
LJ - That's a good question since it's never happened yet that a non qualifier has played in the Championship game. I wonder about that since you asked.

JS - How big of a distraction is all the conference alignment that has been in the news lately?
LJ - We would love to be in a BCS conference and have a chance to get into a National Championship Game. However, since we have no control over that, we focus on what we can accomplish and that is all we can do.

JS - Coach, everybody is curious about the defense and what we can expect this season, with possibly the most explosive and the top scoring offense in the country are we in place and time for a championship run?
LJ - We'll have to look at the defense in two a days this fall. If the defense matches up with the personnel we'll be much better than last season.

JS - Are we a two platoon team on both sides of the ball this coming season?
LJ - We are almost there. We have a second unit on both sides, but there is a little drop off with the second string.

JS - Rate our strength on offense compared to two seasons ago. How do you rate offensive strength is it about the explosion or about the push?
LJ - Our strength on the offensive line has improved the last two seasons in a row. We're much stronger now. We look for the OL to explode off the line and get a good push to move the defender out of the play. The push is the key.

JS - Same question as above on defense.
LJ - The explosion off the snap is more important to the defensive linemen.

JS - What is game day like for Coach Jackson?
LJ - My job is to get them warmed up physically and mentally. Bring them out calm before the storm. Then, controlled chaos.

JS - What is your role on the sidelines during a Game?
LJ - I am the get back Coach. I am the one responsible to keep the players off the field so we do not get an offside penalty.

JS - What was your favorite game last season and why?
LJ - The Tulsa game because so many fans turned it off early while we came back with a last second win. I called my wife after the game ended and she didn't believe me.

JS - Who is the best football player that has come out of this program and gone on to the pros since you have been coaching at UH?
LJ - Sebastian Vollmer because he overcame so many obstacles and developed so quickly. He had a broken ankle and a herniated disk in his back in two back to back seasons and then he never missed another game. He had great determination and worked as hard as anyone I know, and came so far so while he was here.

JS - Coach, we always talk about newcomers that can hit the field in their first year and make a significant contribution as a true freshman, JUCO, or red shirt freshman. Last season you were 20-20, so give us some inside scoop for the 2010 season.
LJ - Matangi Tonga and Sammy Brown will make a huge improvement to the defense. Hard to say other than those two, but keep your eyes open because this freshmen class has some very strong talent on defense.

Notable quotes from Coach Jackson during our interview:

"This freshman receiver, Lankston Williams has unbelievable speed."

"Our two freshmen linebackers, Austin Wilson and Efrem Oliphant are grown men. They look like second year players"

"A couple of players really coming on strong are: Radermon Scypion and Jamal Robinson."

"Freshman Eric Braswell is very impressive at defensive end."

Coach, thanks for the interview. I consider this my favorite interview every season because we have fun and after all, I get to see the fire in your eyes.


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