BATON ROUGE, La. — There’s not much in this world that can make LSU cornerback Donte Jackson quiet or bashful.
A self-described “cocky” cornerback who prides himself on being the fastest player in college football and the best cornerback, too, Jackson reached a rare point of silence Wednesday. He has Ed Orgeron to thank for that one.
In his weekly press conference Tuesday, Coach O let it slip that he doesn’t think Jackson or fellow cornerback Kevin Toliver will be back for their senior seasons in 2018. When asked if that statement is true, Jackson quickly changed the topic.
“True? True as in what? Only time will tell,” Jackson said. “I’m focused on this bye week, on this Tiger Bowl. I might be the DB coach so I’m focused on getting my DBs right for this Tiger Bowl and getting ready for Bama and Tennessee and Arkansas and A&M and the bowl game.
“Coach O knows the talent he has. He’s going to do a great job trying to get a lot of guys to stay and not leave early. But that’s all I can really say about that. I don’t know. There’s a lot of time. It’s going to be a big decision come January for me and my family. That’s all I really have to say about that.”
Jackson isn’t projected to be a top-100 pick by any reputable NFL Draft site, but that may soon change. A former 4-star athlete from New Orleans, Jackson and his rare speed arrived at LSU capable of playing defensive back, receiver or running back. After starting 11 games in 2016, Jackson has come into his own as a leader in 2017.
In eight games this year, Jackson has 30 tackles, 6 pass breakups and 1 quarterback hurry. Four of his 6 pass breakups came on four consecutive plays in the fourth quarter of LSU’s win over Auburn, sealing the Tigers’ victory.
On top of his production, Jackson has been a vocal leader, stepping in where Jamal Adams and Tre’Davious White thrived a year ago and serving as the face of the “DBU” secondary.
And since he’s so big into preparation, Jackson said he had a feeling he’d be answering for Orgeron’s comments Wednesday.
“I knew somebody was going to ask it,” Jackson said. “I saw it earlier pop up and I was like ‘Jeez.’ I was like ‘Oh yeah, this is going to be the day I get asked about that.’ I love Coach O.”