The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

From Bench to Player of the Year

Growing up in California, playing football in the early 1990’s, one would think that sophomore quarterback Boo Jackson would idolize such quarterbacks as Joe Montana or Steve Young of the San Francisco 49ers.

Jackson chose to go a different direction.

“I grew up a Dallas Cowboys fan,” Jackson said. “I wanted to mimic Troy Aikman as much as I could, which is why I wear No. 8.”

Being the youngest of three children, Jackson’s mother got him involved in sports at an early age, but football wasn’t one of them.

“I wanted to play football when I was growing up so much,” Jackson said. “Of course, my mom didn’t want me to, but eventually she signed me up and I never looked back.”

While playing youth football, Jackson played many of positions, including running back, quarterback and wide receiver where he found himself lining up most of the time.

During Jackson’s junior year at Lompoc High School, he began the season as a wide out and running back, but injuries to other players provided him with an opportunity to prove himself at the quarterbacking position.

“The quarterback was the son of our coach,” Jackson said. “When he was injured, the coaches gave me a chance, and I went out and showed them what I could do.”

After graduating high school in 2005, things didn’t come as easy as Jackson would have liked: In his first season with the Warriors, he was unhappy about being grey-shirted by the coaching staff.

“I wasn’t happy about the decision at first. Back home in Lompoc, I thought I was the man,” Jackson said. “When I came here, I thought I would start right off, but I had to face reality, and the rest is history.”

Before Jackson’s second year, Tavares Kendrick transferred from Florida International, giving him competition for the starting role. Coach John Featherstone had to make a decision before the beginning of the 2006 season, and his decision was to start Kendrick.

“Both of them battled for the starting job, but Tavares had the experience we thought we needed,” Featherstone said. “Boo played very little until the third game; he got his chance to show us what he could do against Mt. San Antonio, and the next week, he was named the starter and he hasn’t looked back since.”

With Jackson leading the Warriors’ offense, he has compiled a 17-3 record, while completing 238 of 381 passes and throwing 35 touchdowns to just eight interceptions: In addition, he has been named All-Mission conference player of the year in 2007.

Although the coaches implemented Jackson as the starter, there was one player who didn’t accept the change right away.

“I grew up with Tavares in Florida,” receiver Corey Surrency, who has played with Jackson for two years, said. “But after being able to practice with Boo and seeing what he could do for the offense, he silenced the critics by showing what he could do.”

Jackson gained the respect of his teammates by showing grit and determination to do whatever it takes to win the game.

He gets the tough yards when our offense needs them,” Surrency said. “Even though he may not be the vocal leader people imagine a quarterback being, he leads by example.”

With the 2007 season over, Jackson now has the decision of which school to bring his competitive style of play to.

With only one offer on the table so far, he still wants to see if another school offers him something a little more appealing.

“Memphis is the only school with an offer on the table, but other schools have shown interest,” Jackson said. “I don’t want to say yes and get a better offer elsewhere, then have to back out. I am a man of my word and that will not change.”

Some of the schools showing interest are Kansas, Kansas State, Utah State, Akron, Hawaii, and Oregon. Jackson is eligible for a mid-year transfer.

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