Tuesday, November 14, 2006

DeSean Jackson: Still Talking ...

It really is a shame when a kid can’t control what comes out of his mouth. But, add a professional journalist on deadline looking for a story, and it really isn’t fair.

A case in point pops up this week as Cal receiver DeSean Jackson pops off about USC. (I wrote a post for Conquest Chronicles earlier about Jackson’s comments following Cal’s loss to Zona, so consider this an update.)

Make no mistake, this kid is a very good player, but he’s also conceited, self-centered, cocky, and naïve, all of which combine to make great quotes for an opposing team’s bulletin board.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, Gary Klein captured lots of stupid stuff from Jackson’s mouth about his recruitment by USC. See if you can follow the logic …
As [signing] day wore on, the speedy receiver and kick returner became convinced that USC coaches had betrayed what he felt was an agreement to keep his decision a secret. That night, [Jackson] announced on television that he would attend California.

"Just one of those last-minute decisions," Jackson said Monday in a telephone interview. "I kind of felt like they took it for granted that they had me." […]

"It's just too bad I'm not playing for SC because if I was playing for SC then it probably would be a different thing," he said. "I'm the closest thing to Reggie Bush. But I kind of don't like to follow after too many people. I just try to be myself."

Ask Jackson what attracted him to Cal and he cites the opportunity to mature away from home in Northern California and also to play as a freshman. [...]

But Jackson said he had given USC a verbal commitment.

"We talked it out for an agreement for us to be under the table because I feel I wanted to keep my other options open and available too," he said. […]

“Early in the morning, before we even signed, somebody's calling me and telling me it's all in the newspaper that SC says I already committed and all this other stuff," Jackson said. "That, right there, kind of made me just grab my paperwork from Cal and sign my letter of intent.

"There was too much cockiness over there for me. They were SC. They're national champions. They're just guaranteed they could have whoever they want.

"I kind of felt like I was a more special player than that and they shouldn't have taken it for granted like that."
As we stated earlier, Jackson is a hot dog. If the kid thinks he’s so special, why not prove it on Howard Jones field rather than make a big deal out of what “somebody” says on a recruiting message board. Of course, Carroll took the time to provide a forthright response, which tells us that Jackson has been marked even more than he would be otherwise.
"Nobody remembers him saying, 'I'm coming here,' " Carroll said. "He was always real serious about coming. But nobody in our place ever felt he was committed to us. We waited it out just like we do with other guys.

"It's against the rules for us to talk about recruits before signing day. We don't do that."

Said [Lane] Kiffin: "As recruiting coordinator and receivers coach, I never knew of any commitment that was made by DeSean…. We were here sitting and watching it on TV…. We were assuming it was Cal because we had never heard anything."
In hindsight, we know now that Jackson isn’t the kind of kid who would reach his potential under Carroll’s approach. In terms of his self-centeredness and immaturity, he’s more R. Jay Soward than Reggie Bush, more Whitney Lewis than Desmond Reed or Travon Patterson.

In Jackson's own quotes there is evidence that he knew this, which is the real reason he passed up a shot to compete at USC.
"I heard somebody said I wasn't going to SC because of all the talent they had and all the receivers they had and I was scared and all this," he said. "That never really crossed my mind. I never really thought the players they had there were any better than me or anything like that because I'm capable of doing anything that their players are capable of doing."
First Jackson tells Klein that he chose Cal in part because he wanted to play as a freshman, then he says this? First he says he committed to USC, then he makes up a story about why he didn’t? And who are these “somebody” people, anyway? Again, perhaps he’s not too bright. Need further evidence? Klein caught one last tidbit …
Before last season's game against USC, Jackson told the San Francisco Chronicle that he considered the matchup "my own rivalry game. It's been on my calendar all year."
His own rivalry game, on his calendar? Sounds like one hell of a team player, doesn’t he? Of course, Jackson caught one pass for nine yards in his own rivalry game, as USC put the beat down on the rest of Jackson’s team 35-10 in Berkeley.

You’d think he would know – or at least someone at Cal would tell him – to keep his mouth shut this year. Instead, he went toe-to-toe with a pro in an encounter that was never fair from the start. Sure, maybe we’re picking on the kid … but it’s fun to call him out.

As for Jackson’s “own rivalry game” this Saturday, we’ll see what the Trojans have to say on the field.

Fight On! Beat the Bears!


Anonymous said...

I said to my dad and brother last year after watching him in the Cal-USC game that I was glad that he was not a Trojan, even with all the talent that he brings. Just watching his poor attitude and petulance during the beatdown was enough to convince me that his type of attitude wouldn't have fit. It seemed as though he thought that the reason for Cal's loss last year was that he didn't get the ball enough.

That being said, it the Trojans even kick it anywhere near this guy on Saturday, it could get ugly

Displaced Trojan said...

You are exactly, precisely right. Thanks for the comment.

Anonymous said...

You gotta love it when an opposing player disses the opponent before a huge game. (See Larry Birdine, OU, Orange Bowl)
College football is so much more emotional than the NFL, and giving your opponent any kind of ammunition can amount to shooting yourself in the foot. (See Larry Birdine, OU, Orange Bowl)
I live in the Bay Area about 20 minutes from UCB, and never heard anything but that Jackson was coming to Cal. Not sure why he has such a huge chip on his shoulder over his choice of schools. Perhaps regrets at not having a shot at the National Championship??

Paragon SC said...

I guess high class educaions do not also promote common sense.

Oh, well more bulletin board material.

SoCal Oski said...

You know, when I read this, I cringed.

I mean, this game has more than enough riding on it to require any inflammatory quotes.

That being said, two things come to mind:

1) D-Jax is one of those flashpoint players - if he's on your team you love his brashness, but if he isn't you hate his immaturity.

2) It isn't just talk if the kid can back it up (and this year he has - so far).

Besides, as you well know, talking a bit of smack and taking the piss out of the other guy is all part of the fun.

So, I hope D-Jax has a breakout game and on Sunday all you Trojans are left saying "damn, that guy is good." I'll be in the stands watching.

Go Bears!

Bryan said...

Still glad you don't have DeSean?

Patrick Turner is no DeSean Jackson.

Anonymous said...

i was glad to see him play lousy last sat night. my wife an i went up to berkeley, sat thru the rain and watched sc beat desean again...
USC 2 Desean 0

tom kiss

Anonymous said...

Man D-jack is my cuzzin and I know how he is.If you compare him to any reciever on the Trojans roster he would be the best..He doesnt have a good quarterback like the Trojans have.He can talk all he wants because he has the skills to back it up.Plus he was the BIW when he was at Poly.Go Rabbits!!!And look out 4 him in the NFL.