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Jackson makes it happen

By Stephen Tsai


If Hawaii assistant football coach Chris Demarest were to start a baseball team, one of his top picks would be freshman Marrell Jackson.

"He can play center field, he can hit and he can steal bases," Demarest said.

Jackson's trifecta of skills -- roaming the middle, delivering big hits and creating takeaways -- serve well in his role as the Warriors' starting free safety.

In the past week's game against Colorado State, Jackson made nine tackles, forced two fumbles and blocked a punt.

"He's really doing a nice job," defensive coordinator Thom Kaumeyer said.

Demarestt added: "You have to realize at this time last year, he was playing high school football. To put him in a starting role in college, against major people, is a big step. He's taking it on. He's slowly getting better.

Demarest, who was the point recruiter, envisioned Jackson becoming a playmaker at UH. During his senior season at Miramar High in Florida, Jackson intercepted 10 passes.

"Any time you get 10 interceptions in a year, you're doing something," Demarest said. "I don't care if they're throwing it right at you, you're doing something right."

Jackson said the key is to read his keys.

At Miramar, Jackson said, "I was roaming the field and reading the quarterback and reading my keys. If you can do that, good things can happen."

Jackson chose UH because he wanted both a new start and familiarity.

"The (man-press) defense here is similar to the defense we ran in high school," Jackson said. "The big difference was the terminology. I had to learn to pick that up."

Demarest said Jackson faced a high level of talent in practices and games.

"Florida players are playing with other players who are going to the SEC or ACC week in and week out," Demarest said. "If he's able to do those things, you know he has an upside. If he comes to a place like here, he has a chance to be very productive."

Jackson admittedly adjusted slowly.

"The nice thing about Marrell is he gets better every week," Demarest said. "What you want to do is look for a starting point, and then you look at how they progress throughout the season. He has had his best game last week."

Jackson has started the past two games. He will be tested in this week's road game against Fresno State's spread-passing attack.

"I'm starting to feel comfortable," Jackson said. "When you do what you're supposed to do and listen to your coaches, good things will happen. It's the coaches' way or the highway."

Jackson's duties have expanded to special teams. Jackson complements John Hardy-Tuliau, a kick-blocking specialist.

"He has long strides and long arms," Demarest said of 6-foot Jackson. "He gets to the ball very fast."

WRs getting healthy

The Warriors appear to be getting back to full strength at the receiver positions.

Trevor Davis, who missed the past two games because of a hamstring injury, practiced with the first-team offense on Wednesday.

Chris Gant, who is recovering from an arm injury, practiced while wearing the orange jersey for players who are allowed limited contact.

With Darius Bright reinstated to the team, the Warriors will travel with at least eight receivers today. They brought only six receivers on last week's trip. That forced the Warriors to use tight ends as wideouts on red-zone plays.

Stutzmann worried

Wide receiver Billy Ray Stutzmann remains concerned about numerous relatives who live in Long Island, N.Y,, which was in the path of superstorm Sandy. Stutzmann said they lost power.

"The two hours of practice here are a good distraction," Stutzmann said.

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bleedgreen wrote:
Go get more players from Florida!!! Waiting for Maryland/D.C. recruits to find their way to Hawaii.
on November 1,2012 | 03:09AM
Homegrown wrote:
starting to chalk up some good freshmans WTG! to marrell on last week game...giving us fans some hope on things to come.A win this weekend against a good fresno team would be good for the soul .
on November 1,2012 | 05:19AM
joewilly wrote:
No way!! Good to see they laying the foundation for next year.
on November 1,2012 | 06:55AM
hunebasami wrote:
Bet your house on it. I need another house...
on November 1,2012 | 07:35AM
allie wrote:
Season iks over for UH football. Embarrassing year.
on November 1,2012 | 08:19AM
konakeoni99 wrote:
why isn't STERLING Jackson getting more playing time??
on November 1,2012 | 08:34AM
allie wrote:
he is not ready
on November 1,2012 | 11:29AM
Hiroaki23 wrote:
good game by jackson and again, coaches don't hesitate to use many players in the defense but the one position that really needs a change, which is QB, there's no change; amazing! Guess we'll suffer another blowout at Fresno.
on November 1,2012 | 12:26PM
BTO wrote:
Will this be the week they put it all together?
on November 1,2012 | 02:14PM
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