PULLMAN – Calvin Jackson Jr. is making the most of his final season in Pullman.
Washington State’s stellar slotback was added Wednesday to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, which recognizes the top pass-catcher in the Football Bowl Subdivision annually.
Jackson logged a career-high 139 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown, on eight receptions during the Cougars’ 34-21 drubbing of host Arizona State on Saturday.
The grad student, playing his sixth year of college football and fourth season with WSU, is in the midst of his best campaign . He ranks second in the Pacific-12 Conference with 667 receiving yards (74.1 per game), fourth with 49 catches and is tied for fourth with five touchdowns.
Jackson broke out as a reserve option in 2018 before appearing in just three games and taking a redshirt in 2019. He sustained a season-ending injury in Week 1 last season.
“Going down last year really hurt because I wanted to play,” Jackson said Saturday. “But thank God I had a COVID year. To be able to come back and be able to play this year, with this team, it just means a lot to me. … I want to give them my all and make sure they see that I’m giving them my all.”
The native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has 11 receptions of more than 20 yards and was No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 for a twisting, one-handed touchdown catch Oct. 2 at Cal. Jackson’s breakaway score at ASU is the longest play the Sun Devils’ defense has surrendered this year.
“When he missed the (2020) season … we were missing that other leader on the offensive side,” quarterback Jayden de Laura said of Jackson on Wednesday. “This year, he’s more vocal, him and Travell (Harris) – they do their thing. I feel like we have more of a veteran presence in the receiving corps. I really like that from him. That’s what he brings. … I just gotta get the ball in his hands and let them do their thing.”
Harris, another veteran Cougars slotback from Florida, is tied for second in the Pac-12 with six touchdowns, and ranks third in catches (54) and yards (574).
Running back Max Borghi is also on the Biletnikoff Award watch list, but he hasn’t been used as often this year in the passing game as he had been in past seasons.
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