"If there's a running back in the country better than Tyrone, I'd like to see the guy," says Jackson. "[Marshall] Faulk isn't as big, strong or fast. There's not a back who has Tyrone's ability."
The Fred Jackson Hyperbole File
Avery Horn, Sam McGuffie
So I got this email and I was going to put it in a mailbag and then I realized the world needed a stand-alone dossier of the things Fred Jackson has said about his running backs. This is it. This is the email:
You frequently make a jab at Fred Jackson and his son for jointly comparing freshman running back Thomas Rawls to Mark Ingram, saying that this comparison is part of Jackson hyperbole. It sounds like your point is that the Jacksons have a history of comparing mediocre running backs to great ones. However, in the "Fred Jackson Hyperbole Tracker" tab, when I click on it, the only posts it brings up are two, and both involve Rawls. Could you provide more instances where Jackson erroneously jumped the gun with a whacked-out comparison of a running back that only resulted in mediocrity?
The only additional comparison I can think of that Jackson (Sr.) made recently was that Stephen Hopkins reminds him a lot of Chris Perry. … Are there other times when Jackson did made comparisons and was wrong?
If there are, then Jackson certainly has a history of hyperbole, and your point stands. If not, then perhaps you're just being a little too cynical about the potential that Rawls has. Yes, it's probably always safer to be skeptical when someone says "this guy will be awesome," but it could be that Jackson hasn't been able to get excited about running backs in recent years. He did, after all, coach some decent running backs over the years, who did some good things for Michigan. Though I shouldn't need to tell you that.
Let me know what you find. I'd be curious to see if Jackson has done this before.
You defy the memes. I accept your challenge.
FRED JACKSON ON…
Jackson called Allison "unbelievable," adding the Lake Orion native has a chance to be "the best fullback we've ever had here." High praise indeed given he's only been hitting for a week.
"Everybody used to say Anthony [Thomas] couldn't run, but nobody could catch him either. Underwood is like that. He can break out in the secondary and they'll say, 'He doesn't look like he's running,' but you won't find anybody catching him."
Running backs coach Fred Jackson called Horn the fastest tailback he has ever coached.
Luckily for Michigan, it has what running backs coach Fred Jackson calls the best two running backs in the same class in his 17 years with the Wolverines — freshmen Michael Shaw and Sam McGuffie.
“Sam is the quickest I’ve seen,” Michigan running backs coach Fred Jackson said.
"Michael Hart ability with speed," Jackson said, comparing Toussaint to U-M's all-time leading rusher. "The kind of guy that can do Michael's cuts, he can sit down, sink his hips and explode by making steps. He's faster than Mike and a very, very tough guy, like Mike was."
More Fitzgerald Toussaint:
"He's as talented as anyone who walked in the door," said Jackson, who has coached Michigan career leading rusher Michael Hart, Chris Perry, Anthony Thomas and Tyrone Wheatley, to name a few.
Jackson said he had never before heard of a player breaking his shoulder blade. But before the injury, Jackson saw budding talent.
"He's got great feet, acceleration, strength, power," Jackson said. "I can compare him to somebody -- he's like a fast Chris Perry. He's going to be very good."
I got guys now that got me very excited. I'm talking about a couple years like '94, when we had Wheatley, Biakabutuka, Jesse Johnson, Eddie Davis, those kind of guys.
Brandon Minor (and the rest of the 2008 group):
Jackson said he never has had a speedier group of tailbacks while at Michigan, and he never has had a more physical back than senior Brandon Minor. … "I've coached a lot of tough guys, but I'm going to say right now, (Minor's) probably the toughest back I've ever coached physically," Jackson said.
"Thomas Rawls, to me, is a combination of Anthony Thomas and Chris Perry, but he's faster than both of them," Jackson said. "He's got their feet, their power, and he's got a running style more like Chris', because he really sinks before he hits you."
"No doubt," Jackson said. "I saw him play enough. The kid's got the right stuff. He's just like [Alabama's Mark Ingram], but he's faster than Ingram. He ran 10.65 in the 100 meters, at 220 pounds. Just think about that."
"Before he's done here, he'll be another Chris Perry. But I don't know if Chris was ever 230 pounds."
Michigan RB Coach Fred Jackson didn’t hold back when talking about Shoelace’s speed, “I promise you this, there ain’t nobody in the country who can catch him,” Jackson said. In my 18 years here, I’ve never seen a kid that fast. Nowhere. And I’ve seen some fast kids on other teams, (but) I’ve never seen anybody that fast. “I mean, it’s scary. Every time you miss him in practice, strike the band up, it’s a touchdown. He’s going to shock a lot of people.”
Okay, that last one is right.
UPDATE 8/13/2012: On Thomas Rawls:
"He's got Mike Hart kind of feet, but a lot faster than Mike."
UPDATE 8/14/2012: Comparing Rawls to Mark Ingram:
"They were almost identical high school backs," said Jackson. "Obviously, Mark Ingram had a great (offensive) line at Alabama that helped him along, but Thomas is a lot faster than Mark, (and) has the same type of ability. I'm not trying to compare them in any way but when you watched them in high school, they were very similar running backs."
On Dennis Norfleet:
"Norfleet is as quick as any kid at Michigan since I've been here," said Jackson, in his 21st season. "I've not seen a guy that quick." ...
"...I don't think (anybody) is faster than Denard," Jackson said. "(Norfleet's) got the quickness that will put him in the same positions Denard gets in quicker than Denard will get in them. Now, Denard once he gets side by side will pull (away) from him probably."
Great post by Brian, but no question that we're just scratching the surface on Fred Jackson hyperbole quotes.
No one is suggesting he should say anything different. However, most coaches would say something along the lines of "Rawls is back similar to Mark Ingram in his build and running style. He's not at Ingram's level yet, but that's the calibur back he's capable of becoming" or something like that.
I don't understand why you don't have a sense of humor and just enjoy the good-natured ribbing. I suppose Brian could always write another MANBALL post.
because there is no middle ground between Fred Jackson's glowing evaluations of literally every player he has ever coached and "he sucks". That's using your head.
If he is so great, why wasn't he recruited by more schools? It can't be academic issues...if he can qualify for UM, he can qualify for a ton of schools.
I sincerely hope for a break out year but I guess we'll see.
You're right - he totally sucks.
Or, despite having like 20 RBs on the roster, our experienced staff saw something of value and extended an offer despite the grade issues.
"He's the toughest back I've ever seen... If he misses any playing time in the NFL I'd be amazed"
should coach j tell them that they suck? he just likes pointing out the positivies in each back. can anyone really disagree with anything he said?
If we sum it all up, we have an entirely consistent superlatives list:
Most physical - Minor
Best class - McGuffie and Shaw
Fastest RB - Avery Horn
Fastest overall - Denard
Quickest - McGuffie
Broken shoulder blade ... est - Toussaint
Part of me thinks Brian had more fun writing this particular post than any other post in the past 6 months. That was a good laugh.
Rawls is the first one he's compared to a Heisman winner. Maybe that means deep down he actually means it this time!
only in reverse. If the contractor says three weeks and $10,000, you know it will end up being six weeks and and he'll try to squeeze twenty grand out of you.
If Fred says "he's the toughest" you can assume the poor kid will have problems with hangnails, high ankle sprains, and gout.
This is the greatest post that I've ever seen on this here blog.
Am I doing it right?
Maybe Coach Jackson's extremely positive nature is why he is known as such a good recruiter. No kid wants to hear "you remind me of Mark Ingram, just not as good."
will repost, as this is a more applicable place:
This post was...wait for it...tremendous.
Does RB ego leading to success on the field? if so, could FJ be trying to up the confidence of this backs? Either way it's fun to imagine our backs running like FJ says they can.
Winner for the name of my next fantasy football team!
Also, who would be the greatest running back in CFB history, Alex?
yes, it is. how is this not discussed/used more?
I love me some Freddy J like the long lost uncle we all wish we had, but compiling these was long overdue. Hilarious and Tremendous.
Seems absured now because Faulk is in the Hall of Fame and more importantly the greatest Fantasy Football player of all time, but in 1993 that assessment of Wheatley was pretty spot on. Check the 1993 Rose Bowl highlights for confirmation.
Ty Wheatley had as much ability (power and speed) as any RB I've seen outside of Bo Jackson and Adrian Peterson. He was a complete stud at Michigan and pretty good (though injury prone) as a pro.
We love the FJ comments - they are comical, but as it has been said here, they are entertaining and keep 'em coming.
I think this proves your point
I love Fred's lines of praise. My big fear is that someone in the program will read over the list and tell him to tone it down. That would be a great loss for the hype-loving world.
Funny piece and a great reminder of the many fine recruits we've had.
Unlike some baseball people who seemed to like to talk up a kid just to have interesting copy during spring training, I believe Coach Jackson does this because:
1. He is fundamentally an optimistic upbeat guy.
2. He knows how cut throat it can be at that position - hero one moment, goat the next, so having one person who the backs know will always be seeing their upside is helpful. Sort of like how every mom sees the good side of their kids.
3. Finally, the Coach knows a lot of what it takes to be a great RB is not just physical, but having the confidence and ego to come through under great pressure and scrutiny. Mike Hart wasn't anybody's first choice (slower, smaller, shorter) but he came through.
The question is now: Is Coach Jackson more upbeat than Chuck Norris is tough?
As a coach he's like Vince Lombardi with more hair, Urban Meyer with less stress, & Amos Alonzo Stagg with the benefit of being alive.
Wow, this sounds like it has been interesting and it sounds like it is going to get even more interesting in the future. I hope that you will keep us updated on how this all plays out.
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Fred kinda reminds me of Sparky Anderson and the way he would ummmmm exagerate about certain rookies