Marlin Jackson College: Michigan
Birthday: June 30, 1983
Strengths: The tale of a shutdown corner named Marlin is certainly no fish story. Following in the footsteps of previous Michigan standout cornerbacks Charles Woodson and Ty Law, Marlin Jackson combines size, speed, instincts, and cover ability to distinguish himself as the next great Wolverine NFL prospect.
A competitive fire burns in Jackson, fueling his intensity. Maybe only second to Terence Newman as a cover corner in 2002, Jackson sets the bar high when he says he wants to be better than Woodson. And he started to chip away as sophomore, besting Woodson’s record of most pass breakups in a single season.
Because of a lack of talent at safety, Jackson is routinely put on an island, usually with the opposition’s top receiver. Proving he’s tough to intimidate, Jackson held in check last year the likes of Washington’s Reggie Williams, Illinois’ Brandon Lloyd, and Michgan State’s Charles Rogers. And Jackson is still improving his craft, getting better at disguising his coverage to bait the quarterback to throw his way.
Areas for Concern: That’s not to say Jackson hasn’t absorbed some bumps. The entire Michigan secondary was burned in the 2002 Citrus Bowl by a very talented Tennessee offense, featuring the likes of Donte Stallworth and Kelley Washington. Penn State’s Bryant Johnson also got the better of Jackson on a few occasions last year, but Jackson later made up for it with a key pass defense late in the game to help seal the victory.
And the Citrus Bowl was Jackson’s first game since returning from a sprained medial collateral ligament, an injury he would suffer again as a sophomore. Jackson has also struggled through some ligament damage in his wrist, though neither injury is expected to be career threatening.
Jackson doesn’t post eye-popping stats, aside from the pass breakups. After taking over starting responsibilities midseason as a freshman, opposing teams have learned not to challenge Jackson, even with their best weapons, so the opportunity for him to rack up the interceptions isn’t there. Oh, and speaking of weapons, Jackson was charged on August 1 with assault, allegedly smashing another man in the face with a glass bottle.
How Does He Look in Steel Blue? The Texans would be wise to reel in this Marlin. Despite having their own version of the Old Man and the “C” at corner now, Aaron Glenn and Marcus Coleman won’t be around Reliant Park forever. With the flavor of today’s spread offenses, having three good corners is becoming less of a luxury than ever before.
The Texans certainly seem to like scouting in Ann Arbor too, having selected two Wolverines in last year’s draft. Jackson’s coach at Michigan will move him to safety this season, so that kind of flexibility might be appealing to the Texans.
The only question remaining is whether Jackson will forgo his senior season at Michigan. The possibility of being a top ten pick next spring could be the tasty hook that makes him bite on an early exit to the NFL.
(profile written by Keith Weiland)
Marlin Jackson’s 2002 Stats G TCK PBU INT FF FR 13 51 18 3 2 0 Marlin Jackson Return to The War Room
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