Lincoln, NE - It's hard to fault a player for trying to take on too much, but Nebraska secondary coach Terry Joseph has had to remind freshman cornerback Charles Jackson at times, “don't try to be perfect. Just try to learn your position right now and not the whole defense.”
Nicknamed the “Energizer Bunny,” Jackson has not needed much time to impress the coaching staff. The 5-foot-11, 175 pound former high school All-American sat out of all 2011 due to his academic situation, but hasn't looked rusty in the Huskers first five days days of practice.
“The guy can run all day,” Joseph said. “He’s very willing to learn. He’s probably said, ‘yes, sir’ probably 5,000 times in the first five practices. He's just a great kid. He’s a runner. I'm really looking forward to seeing him in the first scrimmage, because I want to see him hit somebody. The guy is really, really explosive.”
Currently junior Ciante Evans is working with the first-team at nickel, but Jackson has done enough to plant himself on the second team, right behind Evans.
"I definitely think it's too early to say anyone's going to redshirt,” said Joseph. “When you say nickel, he goes in with the twos. So I would think that right now, it's pretty safe to say he's a guy who's going to be in the mix a little bit.
“Every mistake he's made, he's made at 100 miles per hour. So as a coach, that's one thing you don't have to coach with Charles – effort. I think that's going to help his learning curve.”
While Jackson might have missed all of 2011, it could have been a blessing in disguise. The Texas high school product has hit Lincoln hungry, and ready to make his mark in the Big Ten.
“I think adversity makes you stronger and tougher,” Joseph said. “And the situation he went through is obviously one I wouldn’t wish upon anybody. But he came through it, worked out every day and always believed he was going to be in Lincoln. Now he’s here and he really values this opportunity to be here. For him, this is a privilege to play at Nebraska and I think him going through what he went through made him miss it even more.”