Fred Jackson: "Well, right now, they're all picking up things well. The freshmen obviously aren't, but they haven't had a whole lot of practices. But the guys who have been with us… I think they're very comfortable now. And that's the thing I would tell you about Vince and Rawls. Vince and Hayes – they've been with me for a year. They've got it down, I think."
Question: Do you like the physical running of Thomas Rawls, or would you rather see him run around people?
Fred Jackson: "First of all, a lot of people don't realize that he's real fast. I saw the kid in high school run a 10.6 hundred meters. So the kid is real fast, but he's powerful, and he knows it. When he has a shallow cut to go through a guy, he'll do it, but he also has enough wiggle in him to make the guy miss, and go."
Question: Recruiting-wise, are these your hand-picked guys from Flint?
Fred Jackson: "Yes, yes they are."
Question: You like them, then?
Fred Jackson: "I like both of them a lot."
Question: What has Thomas made the biggest improvement with this year? Is it blocking, or something else?
Fred Jackson: "I think the biggest improvement Tom has made is being able to – somebody already asked a question about his wiggle – he's shown that he does have the wiggle, and he's not running over everybody. That's what he's doing; he's making guys miss. That's the kind of thing you have to do, because you get beat up if you don't."
Question: If he has to start against Alabama, which Borgess said might happen, would you be comfortable with that?
Fred Jackson: "Very much so. Very much so."
Question: Why's that?
Fred Jackson: "He's a very powerful kid. He's smart. In high school, him and Mark Ingram were almost identical high school backs. Mark Ingram had a great line at Alabama that helped him along, but Thomas is a lot faster than Mark, and has the same type of ability. I'm not trying to compare him in any way; just saying when you watched them in high school, they were very similar running backs."
Question: Is he a breed of running back that maybe this team has been missing from this offense for a while?
"Yes, because he has the power that you're looking for in a back, and in this offense, you have to – you know, when we're kicking the way we should, and we're running the ball the way we should, then he's the kind of guy you have to have. Because he's going to be the guy who's going to make the third and ones, and he's going to be the guy that can go in there and get you four yards. A lot of the time, when there are only two yards that have to be made, he'll get you four, because of his power."
Question: Who does Thomas Rawls most remind you of among some of the backs you've coached?
Fred Jackson: "Chris Perry would be a guy he's very similar to. He has Chris Perry's power. He doesn't necessarily have his feet, but Chris Perry doesn't have his speed either, so sort of like Chris; a lot like Chris."
Question: What do they mean when they say he runs angry?
Fred Jackson: "Because he does. When he runs, he's trying to hurt the guy. I mean, anyone who tackles him knows that they've been hit. He doesn't take many blows; he gives them most. And that's what you look for in a running back."
Question: I don't know if you've been asked this, but do you think Fitz will play against Alabama?
Fred Jackson: "I have no idea. I'm sure Brady would address it. Brady just told us to prepare him, and that's what I'm going to do. I'll prepare him – he'll practice with the team on Monday."
Question: What's it been like for you to counsel him until – now that he's active again?
Fred Jackson: "I'm treating him just like nothing has happened. I'm preparing him, because the kid made a mistake, and he's paying for it, and I think I just have to treat him as though everything is status quo so he's ready to go."
Question: How's he holding up?
Fred Jackson: "Very good. Very good. I talk to him every day. Spend time with him every day. I try to see him and encourage him, because I think the kid has a great future. The kid has some stuff to him, and I'm going to make sure we're going to keep his progress going."
Question: Is he staying sharp? He hasn't been practicing, but is he staying sharp, you know –
Fred Jackson: "He better. He better be staying sharp. He's been told what to do, and hopefully he's followed that plan; and I'm looking forward to seeing how he looks on Monday."
To watch the video of the interview with Jackson, click play below.