Welcome to week three. If you saw that finish coming last Sat-
urday, please raise your hand. Now put it down and stop readin
this paper. You're simply too smart for us. Denard Robinson's
226-yard fourth quarter was about as unexpected as Jeremy
Gallon becoming a hero by the end of the game. After two wee
of extraordinary football, is this when "normal" returns?
Michael Florek, Stephen J. Nesbitt, Kevin Raftery, Tim Roha
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Q&A: In the aftermath of the Notre
Dame weekend, defensive tackle Ryan
Van Bergen opened up to the media.
Coach J and Co.: Why Fred Jackson,
Michigan running backs coach, has
stayed with the team for two decades.
Preview: Still without a lead back, Michigan
will give its running backs a chance to shine
against Eastern Michigan.
Cover illustration by Marissa McClain
The Daily football writers pick
against the spread to predict Michaela
scores in the 2011 football season. Florek
Western Michigan (Sept. 3): Good thing the
ks rain came. And the blitzes, too. Looked like Greg
Robinson was coaching until the second quarter.
Notre Dame (Sept. 10): Nothing to see here.
Michigan rallied with a 28-point fourth quarter
to stun the Fighting Irish and get the victory.
Eastern Michigan (Sept. 17): Another meeting
with another inferior neighbor: may be Michi-
gan's only shot to hang 50-plus points in a game.
San Diego State (Sept. 24): Hoke said it was
hard leaving his players behind at San Diego
State. They were mad he didn't say goodbye.
Minnesota(Oct.1):MarQueis Gray played wide
receiver last year - now he's the quarterback
and the only thing exciting about the Gophers.
Northwestern (Oct. 8): Dan Persa - that's
Michigan State (Oct. 15): Edwin Baker and
Le'Veon Bell ran over and through Michigan last
year, and Kirk Cousins ain't too shabby either.
Little Brother's growing up.
Purdue (Oct. 29): Guard your ACLs! The knee
injury has plagued Purdue the past two seasons.
Quarterback Rob Henry was the latest victim.
Iowa (Nov. 5): The faces change, but it always
seems like Kirk Ferentz finds the same types of
° players. This is just another solid Iowa team.
Illinois (Nov. 12): Nathan Scheelhaase-to-A.J.
Jenkins and Jason Ford is the whole offense.
Consider Scheelhaase a poor man's Denard.
Nebraska (Nov. 19): The legendary blackshirts
make their debut at the Big House. By the time
Jared Crick and Co. leave, it may get ugly for 'M.'
Ohio State (Nov. 26): No Tressell? No Pryor?
Ohio State's still deeper than Michigan, but a lot
could change by Thanksgiving.
Michian(-3.5) vs EasternMichiga
No.2 Aabama (-43.5) vs North Texas
No 3LSU (-4) atNo. 25 Mississippi State
No. 4Boise State(-20.5) atiToledo
No. 6 Stanford(-8)at Arizona
No7 wsconsin 4) at Northern Iinois
No.12 South Carolinal-16.5)vs. Navsy
No. 12 Oregon (-47.5) vs. Missouri State
No 1i3Va. Tch(-27.01 vs. Aksaiat
No.4 Arksa(-2.5)vs. Troy
N.i15Michigan Siaieat'Notre Dame (-3.5)
No. 16 Fobida rn0x)vs F. Tm nssA
No. 17 Ohio State at Miami(Fla.) 0-)
No. 10 Wesl Virina (-3) at Maryland
No. 19Bayor NS) vs.SF Austin
No. 20 Soth Floida (-441vso. Forida A&M
No.22Arizona State .(-5)at Illinois
No. 23TCU (-31) vs. La.-Monroe
No.23Teas(-4.5) at AUCLy
Purdue (-22.5)ovs.SE MissouiState
Indiana (-14.5) vs. S. Carolina Slate
MinnsotaH .5)v.Miami (Ohio)
Nothwesiern(-6.5) a Army
W scons in
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Hopkins's parents fell inlove with Jackson. Jackson con-
vinced Hopkins to take a visit. Jackson talked to Hopkins's
high school coach, Bryan Erwin.
Is he tough? Does he work hard? Does he show up to
practice on time? How are his grades?
When the formal part was over, Erwin shut the doors. In
the five years Erwin has known Jackson, Coach J always
has to get on the grease board. Marcus runs the I-forma-
tion. Jackson knows all about it. He got on the board and
talked through plays for hours. Wherever he goes, he still
teaches like a quarterback.
"We've gone through a lot of grease cans," Erwin said.
This is building relationships. This is recruiting. No one
does it better than Coach J.
Darryl Stonum, Troy Woolfolk, Brandon Herron, Carvin
Johnson and Terrance Robinson, among others, are all his
guys. Royce Jenkins-Stone, a linebacker in Rivals.com's
Top 100 prospects, has committed to play for Michigan
He's a Jackson guy. Super-recruit Shane Morris, one of
the best - if not the best quarterback - in the 2013 class,
has already verbally committed to the Wolverines. He's a
"Recruiting is the name of the game," said Wheatley,
now the running backs coach at Syracuse. "Michigan
wouldn't be Michigan if you don't get the players in there
to continue the Michigan man tradition, to put the butts
in the seats, fill that thing up, 111, 112,(000) whatever it is.
"Add up the number of backs and the yards that he's
coached over the years and then the players that he's
brought in over the years, I would say that's pretty much,
you've got to keep that guy."
Starting with Rick Leach, Jackson learned from Bo. He
sells the same tradition to the kids and coaches that Bo sold
to him. He builds relationships on the trail the same way
Moeller built a relationship with him. He recruits the way
he was recruited.
The method isn't a secret. If you step into his office on
a Thursday morning and ask, Jackson will give you a pre-
"I know Ican sell this place as well as anybody," Jackson
said. "I've known about this place since the '70s."
The rest is right out of Boo textbook.
'This is Michigan. Whatever you put in this article
you've gotto knowthatchat's what I sell kids. This is Mich-
igan. This is not any other school.
"Like Bo said, 'Those who stay will be champions.' You
feel like you're a champion here."
.He continues on. The academics, the life in Ann Arbor,
the stadium, the tradition, Fielding Yost, Gary Moeller,
It's nothing new. But hearing it this time was different.
Jackson looks you in the eye when he says it. His pace was
steady, his words forceful but ringing of truth. You have no
choice but to believe him.
"My dad has got a way of talking to young men," Fred
As a young man Fred Jr. was on the receiving end of
those talks. Now 35, he coaches football at Flint Northern
High School. Last year his running back, Thomas Rawls,
broke 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram's Flint-
area single-game rushingrecord.
Jackson paid a visit to his old stomping grounds. He
made his pitch. Word got out.
"When (Iowa) found out my dad was seeing him, they
were like, 'Man, I might as well lay off. Coach Jack got a
hand on him, that's it,'"Fred Jr. said.
But there was one recruit Jackson handleddifferently.
That one provides a window into the other side of Fred Jack-
son's tenure at Michigan. He's not the reason Jackson sur-
vived or became indispensible. But more so than Jackson's
love for Michigan, the recruit is the reason he's stayed.
Jeremy Jackson got to play the position Fred Jr. didn't.
He got a lot of things Fred Jr. didn't.
While Pops still worked long hours during the fall and
missed football games, he came home at night. To see his
son, Jackson had to drive a few miles, not across state lines.
When Jeremy was growing up, Jackson began his suc-
cess at Michigan. Lloyd Carr took over as head coach in the
summer of 1995 and named Jackson the offensive coordi-
nator in addition to running backs coach. Carr trusted him.
After two seasons, Jackson lost the offensive coordina-
tor job. He was named assistant head coach. During that
time, more opportunities arose - Sunday football was call-
"I had opportunities to coach in the NFL numerous
amounts of time," Jackson said. "I mean like eight, nine
times and I didn't go because I wanted to coach here."
In the most unstable of professions, the Jacksons found
stability. They had bought a house in Ann Arbor. Jeremy,
the oldest son of Jackson and his second wife, Teresa, was
growing up. Josh came along. The wife was happy. The kids
were happy. Jackson was at the only college he had every
wanted to coach at.
But the allure remained. This was the highest level, the
top of the coaching ladder. Could Jackson start all over,
leaving his house and family all over again to chase another
No. He was going to be there for Jeremy and Josh.
"I think he wants to coach in the NFL," Fred Jr. said. "I
think he really does, butI think he's stayingbecause of his
"I had the
to coach in the NFL
Jackson still works long hours and misses events. That's
the nature of the job. He told AnnArbor com he saw about
"a fifth of what Jeremy did as an athlete in high school."
But he lived under the same roof, and that was more than
he could say for Fred Jr.
Jeremy took Pops' advice. He became a receiver. With
the help of Jackson and former Michigan coach and cur-
rent tows wide receivers coach Erik Campbell, who had
coached Jeremy since he was young, Jeremy developed into
a Division-I prospect. Offers started rolling in.
LSU coach Lea Miles, who coached with Jackson when
the two were at Michigan, wanted him down in Baton
Rouge. Campbell wanted him at Iowa.
"That bothered me when they offered him," Jackson
said. "I mean, I thought there was a chance."
But this was Coach J's son. Might as well lay off.
There was no pitch, no question about becoming the
next great Michigan receiver. For all of his life, Jeremy had
seen his dad live the moments of the Michigan program:
Fred Jacksonand son Jeremy never had to sit down and talk about
Michigan during Jeremy's recruitment.
Biakabutuka's 313 yards, Charles Woodson and the 1997
national championship, Braylon Edwards in triple over-
time against Michigan State. Having a sit-down in the liv-
ing room wasn't changing anything.
"I never told him a thing," Jackson says.
"There wasn't much for him to really tell me," Jeremy
added. "I pretty much knew."
Jackson's shot at the NFL is fading fast, if it's not gone
entirely. He's in his fourth decade asa college coach. Now
coaching with his old buddies, Hoke and defensive coor-
dinator Greg Mattison, he'll remain as the running backs
coach at Michigan, probably for at least the next four or
Josh, now 53, is in eighth grade. Already over 6-feet
tall, he may be best athlete of them all. Jackson may have
the chance to see another son through Michigan.
"It's funny now that I'm older, I see my little brothers
and how they are and I'm like, 'oh they're getting all that
hands on,' " Fred Jr. said. "If I would've got it, I would
have been sweet. Real sweet."
Ann Arbor and the Michigan football program have
brought the Jackson family together. Jeremy's a sopho-
more now. Josh will be at Huron High School next year,
about four miles away from Michigan Stadium.
Fred Jr., with a baby of his own, is about an hour up the
road. With him, tucked away in some closet or in some
box in the garage, are those quarterback playbooks Dad
gave him all those years ago.
In a way those books represent the old Fred Jackson:
the man who loved football, wanted to be at Michigan and
was willing to sacrifice his family time to get there.
There's a different Fred Jackson now. There's a differ-
ent relationship with Fred Jr. now. Fred Jr. comes to visit
and it's an event. Jeremy and Josh have to be home. Fam-
ily is here.
That lost time between Fred Jr. and Dad in those early
years has been found.
"When I was younger, I wasn't with him every day like
my mom," Fred Jr. says. "Now, it's like I've got unlimited
access to him and maybe t'm livingsa childhood a little bit
with him. ButI don't mind that."
TheMichiganDaily - www.michigandaily.com I 7
2 1 FootballSaturday - September 17, 2011