Cougs need new director of player relations

WHEN GRAHAM HARRELL was named outside receivers coach at Washington State last month, it was probably just a matter of time before Jarrail Jackson, Mike Leach's well-regarded director of player relations and a guy widely thought to be in the running for that assistant coaching spot, was picked off by another school. Turns out that time arrived.

Jackson is the new quarterbacks coach at Davidson. We found about his move via a Sports Illustrated missive and WSU's sports information director, Bill Stevens, just confirmed it.

When former WSU outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons left Pullman right after letter of intent signing day to join the staff at Oklahoma, both Harrell and Jackson were widely viewed as logical in-house successors.

Jackson came to WSU with Leach in 2012 after six seasons as the receivers coach at Dartmouth. He and Leach go back to Oklahoma, when Jackson was playing for the Sooners and Leach was the offensive coordinator there.

At WSU, Jackson was a major contributor to the Cougs' recruiting efforts, especially in the south. Cornerback Pat Porter, for example, is an Alabaman who played this past season as a true freshman for the Cougars. Jackson was the conduit that ultimately helped lead to Porter signing with the Cougars.

In many of my conversations with recruits from Mississippi, Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana and other states on the other side of the country, many mentioned Jackson's name.

Although he wasn't on staff as an assistant, Jackson was able to help in this past recruiting cycle in a huge way given coaching vacancies created by the dismissals of Eris Russell, Mike Breske and Paul Volero.

Davidson, based in North Carolina, competes at the FCS level in the Pioneer League against schools such as Butler, Dayton, San Diego, Jacksonville and Drake. Last season the Wildcats were 1-11. They're coached by former Toledo and Marshall assistant Paul Nichols, who will be entering his third year at the Davidson helm and is one of the youngest head coaches in the NCAA.

From 2000-02, Jackson was a member of the practice squad of the Buffalo Bills and later spent six seasons playing the ArenaFootball2 League. The Houston native began his coaching career began in 2004 at Chichasha High in Oklahoma and later moved on to University of Central Oklahoma where he served as a volunteer assistant coach in 2005.

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