In what the team doctor called a freak accident, Idaho State cornerback Marcus Jackson was paralyzed from the neck down in Saturday’s non-conference football victory over Western Montana.
Jackson, a senior, was making a tackle in the second quarter when an opposing player’s knee struck him in the head. He was momentarily knocked unconscious and was immobilized before being removed from the field.
“He has no feeling beneath approximately the nipple level,” Dr. M.R. Mickelson, Idaho State’s team doctor, said Monday in Pocatello.
X-rays showed two of Jackson’s cervical vertebrae were fractured. He underwent a 6-hour operation Sunday and was in critical condition Monday at Bannock Regional Medical Center.
Bengals head coach Brian McNeely met with his players Monday morning. “The general morale, as you would expect, is low,” he said. “Most of our kids are in a state of shock.”
Jim Jackson, Marcus’ father, who attended Saturday’s game, which ISU won 47-0, said, “Our thanks go to the whole community. I appreciate it, Marcus appreciates it, my wife will be here this afternoon, and I know she appreciates it.”
The long-term prognosis is unknown. Jackson’s spinal cord is bruised, not severed, and the covering of the spinal cord remains intact, Mickelson said.
Still, he said, Jackson’s future could range “from complete recovery … to absolutely no recovery.”
Prep quarterback dies
Adrian Taufaasau, 17, a Coronado High School quarterback, died Sunday in Santa Ana, Calif., after losing consciousness when he was gang-tackled in a Friday game.
Taufaasau apparently suffered head trauma, according to a preliminary finding by the Orange County coroner’s office. He died at a hospital Sunday afternoon. He is the second Southern California football player to die of apparent game injuries this season.
Coronado coach Bud Mayfield told the Daily Pilot in Costa Mesa the 5-foot-11, 192-pound senior had a history of seizures.
However, Taufaasau’s parents said none of the boy’s seizures had ever lasted more than 20 seconds.
He died a day after burial of Reseda High football star Eric Hoggatt. Hoggatt’s mother found him dead Sept. 13 the morning after an exhausting game with Chatsworth High. The cause of his death hasn’t been determined.