September 2, 2007

The Return Man

DeSean Jackson started out bouncing near the 20-yard line deep in his team's own territory. He finished standing way on the other end of the field, brushing his shoulders off in a "you can't touch me" mantra. Jackson's 77-yard punt return, where he left Tennessee's Andre Mathis grasping at a hash-mark, was sensational.

Cocky, confident, controlled, creative, and cool, Jackson is now the Pac-10's best punt returner of all-time. He showed the whole country on primetime why the Bears are for real, and why he might be the most underrated true contender for the Heisman Trophy in 2007. You simply can not kick him the ball.

There's little doubt that Tennessee intended to as well. The quad injury to Volunteer punter Britton Colquitt, which prevented him from practicing for two weeks, obviously led to some rust. The punt that Jackson took to the house was supposed to be angled away from him, and might have been if it wasn't the first live kick Colquitt had made in 14 days.

But that's fate. Jackson did get the ball, and he did exactly what everyone knew he was going to do. Though nearly every move he makes seems brand spanking new, it would be tough to say that what Jackson does on the field is effortless. There is a lot of work that goes in to what he does. But he's the best in the game at it, and everyone is truly chasing him.

Everyone around the Cal program has seen what he does, and we all know what he brings to the table. We've looked across the way at the Cal student section, hands high in the air, chanting his name in unison, waiting for the spectacular to happen.

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