It was a play that could’ve been a highlight reel staple for years to come but Tyree Jackson coughed up the football on an effort play off a busted protection. Although the play looks bad on the surface, there is a silver lining and that play helped expose what kind of player, and man, Tyree Jackson is.
“They ran a man defense so no one had me on a scramble. I scrambled out and was just trying make a play and get one in for the team” Jackson said, describing the sequence of how the play developed.
Jackson also said in the press conference that the play call was initially a pass, which is obvious, but the play quickly deteriorates as Albany’s Malachi Hoskins drives Tyler O’Henly backwards and collapses the pocket. Jackson, seeing this unfold in front of him, along with his downfield receivers covered, took advantage of an opening to the endzone and decided to take off running.
“I felt like I was going to make it, he [Mason Gray] did a great job, it was a great play. That one was on me, that’s not on anyone but myself” Jackson lamented.
Both the play itself and the way Jackson handled himself in the press conference after really spoke to me about the type of player that he is.
On the field Jackson was moving with a purpose to the goal line, all 6-foot-7, 245 pounds of him, with the express intention of putting his team in a position to win a football game.
Could he have stopped early and gotten the first down?
But I think any football player worth his salt would have dove for the pylon just like Tyree did.
I also will not fault him for the fumble on a pure effort play, especially in his first collegiate appearance. He was doing what he needed to do to put the team in a position to win. The team was backed into a corner and he was faced with a deficit to overcome. That’s a lot to ask of a redshirt freshman in his first time on the field, stud or not.
In the press conference the way that Jackson immediately owned up to his mistake showed his maturity and willingness to take ownership of his actions on the field, no matter what the outcome. This is the type of selfless leadership that a football team needs, especially from their quarterback.
It was game one of many for Tyree, but there already have been valuable lessons taught, and revelations made about UB’s new prized QB. Thanks to this fumble showing the true character of Jackson, UB should be in good hands.