A big spring for Charles Jackson

The light bulb is coming on for junior defensive back Charles Jackson this spring.

LINCOLN, Neb. - A four-star prospect and the nation's No. 2 cornerback in high school, Charles Jackson was likely able to get away with not knowing his playbook in and out during his prep days. He was athletic enough it didn't matter.

But, everyone in D-1 football is athletic and after two seasons of limited playing time for the junior, Jackson has a new dedication this offseason.

"Watching guys like Ciante Evans and how they took on the playbook and knew every question in the film room, it translated onto the field," said Jackson. "One day I got myself together and said, 'maybe that's what I'm missing.' It's not just about the athletic ability you need on the field.

"I feel like it's slowing down a lot for me. It's just about taking times in the playbook, film study, long hours, just effort."

Jackson, who is primarily working at the NICKEL spot this spring, has looked like a faster player through seven practices. A confident player.

"You want to talk about guys that are light-years ahead of where they were a year ago – he's one of them. He obviously put some time in prior to spring practice," head coach Bo Pelini said. "I think things are starting to slow down for him and make sense to him, which is a good thing, because he's a really talented kid.

"You can just tell by the questions he asks and his approach how far he's come in the last year."

Jackson played NICKEL and cornerback his freshman year, but was moved to safety last season to help provide depth at the position. Now back to his more natural spot, he feels the position switches have benefited him.

"I'm starting to realize why they threw me around my first couple of years. It's really coming together pretty good. I actually like it," said Jackson. "I know where the other positions are supposed to be at on the field, which helps me at mine. I think about it all the time.

"I like being in a run fit, someone taking care of passing responsibilities. It's just a physical position in my opinion. One of my favorite football players "Honey Badger" plays it. I watch a lot of film of him."

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