On the rideback from Rice's first practice at Aloha Stadium on Saturday, the bulk of theOwls were eagerly awaiting their arrival back at the Sheraton Waikiki when theywould visit the Hawai'i Bowl Gift Suite to pick up their bowl gifts.
But theirstarting quarterback was far more interested in the constant flow ofinformation that was coming to him over his cell phone.
While he wasalso excited to pick up the gifts that further validated his performance in hisfirst year of leading the Owls' offensive attack, Jackson was equally enthralledwith the efforts of the Cedar Hill Longhorns, who were locked in an epic duel withthe Katy Tigers to decide the Texas Class 6A Division II state title for thethird year in a row.
Jackson, whowas a three-year starter for the Longhorns from 2008-10, was anxiously seekingthe latest news as the two Texas titans took their rubber match down to the wire,except when he first checked his phone after practice, his delivery system wasnot working as planned.
"Mygirlfriend, Sydney Davis was supposed to be getting me the updates, but she wasslacking early on as far as giving me the information," Jackson recalled afterSunday's workout at Aloha Stadium." I had to get on to her a little bit andfrom that point on she was basically giving me a play by play."
As Jacksonand the Owls headed to the room in the hotel where the bowl gifts were waiting,he got the one piece of information he wanted most of all and Cedar Hill naileda 25-yard field goal with two seconds left to down Katy for the secondconsecutive year.
"When I got theupdate when we won, the first person I had to go find was Coach (Larry)Edmondson, since he had told me he picked Katy to win and then I was messingwith Nico (Carlson) because he was giving me a bad time because he's from Katy,"Jackson stated.
Jackson'sweekend brightened even more when he learned that his beloved Dallas Cowboys haddemolished Indianapolis 42-7, making him 2-for-2 in terms of his rootinginterests as a fan.
"It'srefreshing to know that my high school is still handling its business longafter I am gone and the young guys there are able to go out and dominate,"Jackson noted. " And the Cowboys won today to clinch the division, so it's beena pretty good weekend."
OnWednesday, Jackson will look to close out the run by leading Rice to a win overFresno State in the Hawai'i Bowl. TheOwls have never beaten the Bulldogs in six career meetings and should Jacksondo so, he would also become the first Rice quarterback to win two bowlgames. His first win came in relief ofan injured Taylor McHargue when he came into to complete 15-21 passes for 264yards and a pair of touchdowns, 231 of those yards and both TDs in the secondhalf as the Owls outscored Air Force 26-0 after the break to win 33-14.
After the success of his favorite high school and NFL teams, Jackson has a chance to complete the picture with a Christmas Eve win. And he won't have to rely on any third parties to let him know how it turns out.