Malik Jackson

EXTRA: ITV Spring Practice Guide"> Malik Jackson

EXTRA: ITV Spring Practice Guide">

Malik Jackson glad to finally compete

"I did look at the depth chart and was a little surprised, but I didn't let it go to my head...I knew that I had to still come out here and compete and show what I can do." - <B>Malik Jackson</b> <P> <B>EXTRA:</B> <a href="http://louisville.theinsiders.com/3/spring03.html"><b>ITV Spring Practice Guide</b></a>

When the University of Louisville football spring depth chart was released two weeks ago, a few surprises were found on the defensive side of the ball as two red-shirt freshmen were listed among the first team, including Malik Jackson.

However, despite seeing his name listed among the first unit, Jackson has approached spring with determination to prove his abilities to the coaches and players alike. Jackson, a safety from Dunwoody, Georgia, is a player whose name frequently surfaced as coaches spoke about players who could make a difference on the 2004 Cardinal defense and through the first five days of spring practice he hasn't disappointed.

His play during the first week of practice has been one of the highlights. During each session, Jackson has displayed the ability to run stride for stride with opposing receivers, as well as provide great run support.

"It feels good to finally come out here and compete for a first team position," Jackson told Inside the Ville following Tuesday's practice. "So far I feel like I am doing a pretty good job, but I still need to learn the schemes a little better."

He attributes his performance, to not only constant work in the weight room, but also his dedication to learning the new defensive schemes put in place by first-year Cardinal defensive coordinator Mike Cassity.

"Working hard in the weight room is important, but more importantly, studying and learning the schemes," explained the 6'2, 220-pound defensive back. "When it comes down to it, knowing the schemes is more important than just being strong."

Realizing now that his first year as a Cardinal, which was spent working on the scout team, is paying off, Jackson credits his decision to attend to U of L that enabled the opportunity.

"Coming to Louisville has been the best thing for me," Jackson said. "I looked at Memphis, Georgia and South Carolina, but Louisville was always straight forward with me and I felt that I was wanted here more than any other place. It is giving me the opportunities and I really feel that it is the best place for me to be."

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