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January 07, 2004 - Image 9

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The Michigan Daily, 2004-01-07

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Wednesday
January7,2 4
sports.michigandaily.com
sports@michigandaily.com

Oe RTSigan Btilp

9

. . . ...... . ... .... ---

Jackson set to return
next season at corner

Trojan march to glory
has makings of dynasty

EEdwards still making
decision, needs to
discuss more with family
By J. Brady McCollough
Daily Sports Editor
Even after all that has transpired this
season - pleading guilty to aggravated
assault, moving to safety from his natu-
ral position of cornerback and sitting
out three games with a leg injury -
Marlin Jackson doesn't plan on going
anywhere.
Jackson has decided to finish his
career at Michigan and get his degree,
putting an NFL career on hold for
another year, according to Jim Wild-
man, Jackson's high school football
coach in Sharon, Pa.
"We spoke at length Saturday
evening, and his first reason (for com-
ing back) was a greater opportunity to
get his degree," said Wildman, with
whose family Jackson has lived since
he was a high school senior. "His sec-
ond reason was that he still feels he has
some unfinished business to accom-
plish both from an individual and a
team standpoint. He believes there is a
strong nucleus returning."
But will Braylon Edwards be a part
of that nucleus?
Edwards told The Michigan Daily
last night that he is still "on the fence"
and needs to talk to his family more

before making a decision.
It would be gutsy for Edwards, a first-
team All-Big Ten wide receiver, to
declare for the 2004 NFL Draft, which is
packed full of talented receivers. Still,
ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has said that
if Edwards declares, he'll likely be a late
first-round or early second-round pick.
"Marlin coming back, that helps,
because it means the defense will be
better," said Edwards, who must
declare for the draft by Jan. 15. "But I
still have to make a decision that is best
for myself."
Moments after the Rose Bowl, Jack-
son's tone was similar to that of
Edwards last night. Jackson, a junior,
told the Daily that, "If I'm back here,
I'll be at corner."
A first-team All-American at corner-
back his sophomore season, Jackson
spent this season out of position at safe-
ty, picking up 50 tackles and two inter-
ceptions. His frustrating and physically
draining season hasn't stolen his swag-
ger, though. Jackson referred to himself
as "the best corner in the country" after
the Rose Bowl.
Wildman said that Jackson met with
Michigan coach Lloyd Carr about
switching back to cornerback before
the team left its perch in Southern
California.
"I believe he was told that when he
came back, he would move back to cor-
ner, and he's going to meet with coach
Carr later in the week," Wildman said.

CURTIS HILLER/Daily
Junior Marlin Jackson will return to his original position of cornerback next year.

"He did what he was asked to do (by
moving to safety), and now it's his turn."
Jackson's return to the fold will pro-
vide a huge boost for the defense,
which struggled against the pass with
Jackson at safety. In each of the season-
ending games against Ohio State and
Southern Cal., Michigan gave up more
than 300 yards passing. Jackson and
Markus Curry will likely start at cor-

nerback next year, giving the younger
Leon Hall more time to develop.
"(Jackson has) paid his dues in a
number of ways," Wildman said. "The
fact that he lived with a cloud over his
head for the past six months relative to
the incident in June, the move to safety,
the injury. There was a much better way
to exit the Michigan program than what
he did this year."

KYLE O'NEILL
The Daily Janitor
ometime in between the flyover
from the Air Force out of Lang-
ley, Va., and Keary Colbert's
second touchdown for Southern Cal.,
I realized I was witnessing something
special.
Right before my eyes was the mira-
cle of birth: the conception of a
dynasty.
It was almost fitting that John
Williams, composer of the "Imperial
March" from "Star Wars" (which is
also associated with the evil empire
known as the New York Yankees), was
the Grand Marshal for the Trojans'
breakout party. In fact, if anyone can
take the Trojans' "War Chant" and
turn it into a grand concerto master-
piece of an opus, it's Williams. Not to
say that Duh-daaaa ... da-da-da-da-
da-da-da duh-daaaa isn't musical
genius at work, but it becomes more
annoying long before it strikes fear
and hatred into opponents.
Luckily for Southern Cal., the
melodic portion of this dynasty is its
biggest concern.
Its team next year is stacked, suc-
cessful ... and young, which is formu-
laic of the beginnings of a dynasty.
Colbert leaves, but that hardly puts
a chink into quarterback Matt
Leinart's arsenal. Sophomore running
back Hershel Dennis (661 yards in
2003) and freshman backs LenDale
White (754) and Reggie Bush (521)
are all back next year.
Then there's that Mike Williams
kid, who would have been the best
receiver in college football had it not
been for the other sophomore sensa-
tion known to Mel Kiper and the rest
of the salivating NFL scouts as Larry
Fitzgerald. While his down-field
blocking is not to the level of a Roy
Williams out of Texas, Mike is still
the biggest playmaker west of Pitts-
burgh.

Steve Smith, a freshman this season
who was the No. I high school wide-
out in 2002 according to many publi-
cations, will most likely take up the
No. 2 spot in the receiving core. His
17 receptions for 319 yards and two
touchdowns during limited playing
time would seem to prove he's at least
earned a chance to make his mark in
2004.
The defense loses cornerback Will
Poole, but returns its top three sack
leaders. After watching the Rose
Bowl, the Trojans proved they don't
need big playmakers in the secondary
as long as the quarterback is being
pressured into bad throws or is set
down nicely on the turf.
Head coach Pete Carroll and offen-
sive coordinator Norm Chow are per-
fect examples of coaches you love to
hate (e.g. Joe Torre) and are great per-
sonalities - Chow is rarely ever seen,
and Carroll looks as if he could sit on
a cactus and be comfortable. Aside
from their personalities, it's their
coaching that makes them tops in the
game. Carroll, a former head coach
for the New England Patriots and
New York Jets, is one of the most
underrated defensive coaches in the
nation, if only because he plays in a
conference that gives up points and
gives up a lot of them. He proved
against Michigan, that when push
came to shove he would have not the
most physical defense, but the most
prepared defense. As for Chow, his
offensive schemes will haunt defen-
sive coordinators for years to come.
So this begs the question of why
this team will be any different than
Miami (Fla.) of the previous two
years or Florida State of the mid-
1990s.
Well, for one, those two teams
weren't dynasties. A couple years
hardly marks a dynasty. In fact, there
aren't many teams that would qualify
under the definition of dominating for
close to a decade or more.
The Hurricanes of the 1980s were
close, as were the Sooners of the '50s,
but the only school that has had a true
long period of supremacy was Alaba-
ma in the '60s and '70s.
That's what makes this Southern
Cal. era so important. In a time when
See O'NEILL, Page 10

Hoops family affair for Wildcat guard Parker

By Daniel Bremmer
Daily Sports Writer

I did right."
T.J. and Tony have much in common, including

other - something that hasn't changed over the years.
But one thing has changed: T.J. can now defeat his

When your sibling gives you advice, you might
have a hard time listening. But when you play college
basketball and your brother just won an NBA champi-
onship, you should probably pay attention.
This is the case for Northwestern guard T.J. Parker,
whose brother Tony was the starting point guard dur-
ing the San Antonio Spurs' run to an NBA Finals vic-
tory in June. Tonight, T.J. and his Wildcat teammates
will be in Ann Arbor to take on Michigan (9-2) in both
teams' Big Ten opener.
"When you've got a brother like I do, it helps you
out," T.J. said. "He helps me with everything. Before
games, after games, telling me what I did wrong, what

their similar sizes, appearances and
French accents. On the court, T.J. and
Tony have comparable styles.
"We iave a similar game, bringing
the ball so fast up and down the
court," said T.J., who averages nine
points and five assists per game this
season. "He's been playing profes-
sionally (starting in France) since he
was 15, so he's used to that environ-

TONIGH
Nohwesternat
Michigani
Tume: 7P.M
Crsler Arm
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brother on occasion, thanks in part to the
nearly 15 pounds he gained over the sum-
mer - bulking up to a more physical 178.
"He used to (push me around), but that's
over now," T.J. said. "The day after the
Finals, I beat him ... put him back in his
place."
More recently, T.J. and Tony split games
of one-on-one while Northwestern was in
El Paso, Texas, for the Sun Classic just

ment. He talks to Tim Duncan. For (Tony) to tell him
what to do, it's a great example (for me)."
Naturally, T.J. and Tony were competitive while
growing up in France, playing one-on-one against each

before Christmas. T.J. said that he enjoyed the chance
to spend time with his brother and attend the Spurs vs.
Clippers game in San Antonio. During the NCAA
See PARKERS, Page 10

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