Running back Ja’Quinden Jackson eager to capitalize on fresh start with Arkansas football


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Ja’Quinden Jackson made no attempt at hiding what he hopes to accomplish in his first season with the Arkansas football program later this fall.

“It’s been a long journey, but hopefully this year will be my last year in college football,” Jackson said. “I pray to God it is. Can’t do another fall camp.”

That quote might read selfish, but it sounded more like a sign of Jackson’s hunger. The running back is entering his fifth year of college football and comes to the Razorbacks after stints with Texas and Utah. He has two seasons of eligibility remaining, but Jackson clearly believes he is poised for a big 2024 that could lead him to the NFL.

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And that type of success would be a big boost for the Arkansas offense. The Hogs never found consistency from their running backs in 2023. A floundering offensive line contributed, but Rocket Sanders and AJ Green both had disappointing seasons leading to their transfers out of the program.

Jackson brings a new energy.

Utah Utes running back Ja’Quinden Jackson (3) runs for a touchdown against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the third quarter at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City on Nov. 4, 2023.

“(The transfers) are good kids that wanted a family football team. They wanted that feel,” head coach Sam Pittman said. (Jackson) is the same way.”

Jackson led Utah in carries (161), rushing yards (797) and rushing touchdowns (4) last season, all while battling multiple injuries. According to Jackson, a low ankle sprain turned into a tendon coming off the bone.

“When I went into the portal, there were a whole lot of jokes, ‘Aw, he’s got paper ankles.’ This and that,” he said.

“It was funny. I laughed at it….

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Author : Ft. Smith Southwest Times Record

Publish date : 2024-03-29 09:05:30

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