Burger King Outstanding Student Athlete: Riley's James Jackson
SOUTH BEND —
With their win last Friday, South Bend Riley secured their first winning season in 20 years.
Head Coach Jarvis Edison took the reigns last fall and made some big changes to the look and feel of Riley football, starting with the man in charge of his offense.
James Jackson is that guy, Wildcat quarterback and this week's Outstanding Student Athlete.
"His biggest strength is that he's a threat,” said Head Coach Jarvis Edison. “Whether he's throwing it or whether he's running the football, he's a threat and I'm a defensive guy. And whenever there's a quarterback involved in that run game, it's a challenge. It stresses defenses. That’s what he does, I'm just happy that he's on my football team."
James Jackson stepped into the quarterback role only two seasons ago after spending the majority of his career on the other side of the ball.
“Two years ago I started playing quarterback, so it's new to me,” said Jackson. “I just picked up a habit. I wanted it. Everybody said I should because I have a strong arm. They were like what? So, they didn't really believe me at the time, but I showed them my skills."
He did that by making some big statements on the Wildcat offense
Things really seemed to come together for the Wildcat offense at the beginning of this season
"It was against New Prairie I think when I just caught the heat and started doing my thing,” said Jackson.
That game Jackson was dominant through the air, completing 12 of 24 passes for 266 yards and continuing that trend through the rest of their games by leading the team to their first winning season since 1997.
"James is quiet,” said Jarvis Edison. “He's a quiet gentleman, and that's something that I appreciate about him. That he doesn't try to go outside of himself to lead. Granted we ask him to speak up and speak his mind about things, but for the most part, he does it by example on the field.”