Mississippi State’s Jesse Jackson admits his sleeping pattern has changed this week.
The sophomore wide receiver has been loosing more and more sleep as the week has gone on in anticipation of Saturday’s season opener against South Alabama.
Perhaps some of Jackson’s anxiousness stems from going the entire season without a catch last year.
“It’s definitely made me more determined,” Jackson said. “I talked with coach G (Billy Gonzales) about it in the offseason and he told me he’d had a couple of good receivers that went a whole year without a catch and the next year turned on the jets. He told me they were going to come. Running routes in the SEC is hard and you have to run them as if they’re your last.”
The 6-foot-2, 211-pound former four-star prospect appeared in a dozen games in 2015 but only had two passes thrown his way. Jackson has spent the entire offseason working on every aspect of his game in order to improve and become a better all-around receiver.
During the final two spring scrimmages, Jackson hauled in four balls for 73 yards.
“I’m just focusing more on my job this year,” Jackson said.
The former Petal standout is expected to have a much bigger role in the Bulldogs’ offense this fall with the departures of De’Runnya Wilson, Fred Brown and Joe Morrow.
“This is a new year and a whole new wide receiving crew and I approach it like that,” Jackson said. “I’m not really trying to fill anybody’s shoes. I’m just trying to go out there and play my game. The opportunities are going to be there, I’ve just got to go out and make plays.”
Jackson and the rest of the receivers are expected to take some of the pressure off a new starting quarterback this season. Damian Williams, Nick Fitzgerald or Nick Tiano will be tasked with taking over the offense and emerging from Dak Prescott‘s long shadow.
“We’ve gotten reps with all three quarterbacks so that a plus,” Jackson said. “They’re all competing and have had their ups and down. Whoever gets the starting job, trust me, I’ll feel comfortable with them.”