Trib HS Insider Q&A: Highlands' Elijah Jackson
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Sophomore Elijah Jackson — a shifty multi-purpose back with breakaway speed and slick moves — has the potential to be Highlands' playmaker of the future.
But Jackson knows potential will only take him so far.
“When I am not playing, I am working out and trying to get better,” said Jackson, who is 5-foot-7 and 145 pounds.
His teammates are aware of Jackson's talent, but they know he is a work in progress.
“He has the best vision I have ever seen,” junior teammate Allan Cratsenberg said. “He has the potential to play Division I if he stays in the weight room.”
Lining up at tailback and wide receiver, Jackson has rushed for 455 yards and five touchdowns. He has nine receptions for 97 yards and a score.
He also is a dangerous kick and punt returner for the Golden Rams.
Q: You grew up in New Kensington until the fourth grade when you moved across the bridge to Harrison?
A: Yes, I played for the Ar-Ken Rens. I still have some friends at Valley — Demetrius Houser, Rashaad Blair, Dale Lasko. I have old pictures with them.
Q: Did you think you'd have such an impact so early?
A: Coach told me I would be playing a lot. I wasn't expecting that too much. Whatever I can do to help the team win.
Q: Do you prefer wideout or running back?
A: Running back. I like to run hard. You always have the ball in your hands.
Q: Your cousin is assistant coach John Duffy, a former Highlands standout. What has he taught you?
A: He used to play and he took a couple kickoffs back for touchdowns. He always shows me how to play cornerback, back-peddling and things like that.
Q: What's been the team's most memorable play of the season?
A: Well, it wasn't me. It was a (70-yard) touchdown to (sophomore wide receiver) Chris Fick (against Indiana). He doesn't catch a lot in practice, so we were surprised.
Q: That play was designed for you?
A: Yes. It was supposed to be a little screen pass. I got looked off. The middle linebacker was guarding me tight.
Q: The word is you are extra critical of yourself?
A: I feel if we lose, I should step up and take the blame. I hate losing. When we started out, the team wasn't talking much in the huddle. I always try to pump them up.
Q: Has standout linebacker Allan Cratsenberg ever hit you in practice?
A: Thankfully, no. He hits hard. He doesn't take anything from anybody.
Q: What's the most inspirational thing coach Sam Albert has said to you?
A: I like when he says, ‘The first thing other teams see on the field is that we will hit you.'
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WPIAL hands out suspensions for Wilkinsburg-Monessen fight
- Tickets aplenty for Ringgold-BVA game
- Southmoreland plays Burgettstown in big game
- Southmoreland varsity gridders helping midget football teams
- Decision on football fracas expected today
- Late touchdowns seal Southmoreland’s fate against Derry
- Quaker Valley football coach emphasizes need to close out games
- Gators hope to shake off tough loss to Tigers
- Penalties, turnovers doom Foxes in quest for 1st victory
- WPIAL to conduct hearing on Monessen-Wilkinsburg fight
- Bentworth’s Hughes named Player of Week