April 1, 2008

Jackson takes over K-State's linebackers

Kansas State's coaching staff boasts three men that list coaching experience at Cornell University on their resumes, and while nobody who spent time at the Ivy League University was hired this offseason, a man with the first name to match hopes to make an impact on the Wildcats in his first season. Yes, the program's new linebackers coach Cornell Jackson has big plans for his K-State debut.

"I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure these kids have success." Jackson said. "I'm going to do everything I can to make sure we have success as football team and a program. In the end, I'm just a football coach, but I can't wait to get out there."

In essence, Jackson is, "just a football coach", but unlike many of K-State head coach Ron Prince's past coaching hires, the Sterling (Kan.) College graduate has been around the block a time or two. His 21 years of experience coaching includes 16 seasons at seven different Division I-A schools, and the first-year Wildcat assistant carries with him a battle-tested no-nonsense style that the most important parts of the group Jackson will coach this season seem to already be buying into.

Make no mistake about it; Jackson's vast experience has done wonders in garnering instant respect.

"Coach Jackson is a real smart guy," said linebacker Antwon Moore, who seemed to be on his way to a breakout year in 2007 before a knee injury cut his season short in the Wildcats' second game. "He knows what he's talking about and that inspires confidence in me. If you don't have confidence and respect for your coach you are not going to be that team that everybody wants to be."

K-State's most recent coaching hire says the fact that he was asked a laundry list of "defensive questions" during his interview helped sell him on the open position and Prince's regime, and the newest addition to the Wildcats' coaching staff contends he walked out of his initial interview seeing Prince as the epitome of what a head football coach should be.

Prince's outstanding work in the interview room is nothing new. The third-year head coach has built quite a reputation for his way with words, but Jackson was taking notice of K-State long before he was so much as contacted by the man that would soon become his boss.

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