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Sports >  WSU football

Washington State edge rusher Brennan Jackson planning to return for sixth season in Pullman

Dec. 2, 2022 Updated Fri., Dec. 2, 2022 at 5:16 p.m.

Washington State edge rusher Brennan Jackson (80) chases Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura during the second half of a Pac-12 game Nov. 19 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Jackson announced Friday that he will return to WSU for a sixth season.  (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)
Washington State edge rusher Brennan Jackson (80) chases Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura during the second half of a Pac-12 game Nov. 19 at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Jackson announced Friday that he will return to WSU for a sixth season. (Tyler Tjomsland/The Spokesman-Review)

PULLMAN – Brennan Jackson, an accomplished edge rusher and veteran leader for Washington State’s football team, will return to the program next year for his sixth and final collegiate season.

“I think one more year here is what I want to do,” Jackson told reporters Friday. “I want to finish out as a Coug, finish what I started. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be a great last one.”

Jackson emerged in 2021 as one of the headliners of WSU’s defensive turnaround. He was a handful for blockers this year, boosting his production in the backfield during his best season .

A team captain, Jackson led the Cougars with five sacks – seventh in the Pac-12 – and finished second on the team with 11 tackles for loss, tying for third in the conference.

The 6-foot-4, 263-pounder from Temecula, California, captured a starting role in 2020 and has improved steadily since. He earned an All-Pac-12 honorable mention nod last year and may land on the all-conference team when selections are announced next week.

Jackson accepted an extra year of eligibility – granted by the NCAA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – and may be the most important returner for WSU’s defense, which was one of the Pac-12’s top units this season but will lose a handful of starters to graduation.

Jackson’s decision is cause for “celebration,” said coach Jake Dickert, “popping corks and celebrating a guy like that, a staple of your program and a guy that’s just such a leader and has done so much here.

“Meeting with him, meeting with his family, they’re so invested. He’s doing it for the right reasons.”

Dickert praised Jackson for his dedication to WSU – staying committed to the program throughout his career sets a positive example.

“Young people are under immense pressure – the (transfer) portal, the (NIL) money, the ‘grass is greener somewhere else,’ ” Dickert said. “There’s so much pressure on these kids and this is the system we’ve created. To have someone put a stake in the ground and say, ‘I want to be here … I value it here,’ it’s really important.

“There will be roster turnover. We know that. We’ve planned for that. … To have a guy like (Jackson) to say, ‘This is my team. Let’s reestablish and let’s go do this thing again,’ is just so powerful for a team.”

Jackson has appeared in 31 games since 2019, totaling 105 tackles, 21 TFLs and 10½ sacks throughout his career.

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