When Lake Dallas took the field Monday for its first football practice of the season, head coach Michael Young noted how much more bearable the heat was compared to last year.
Young also noted how well Josh Jackson looked on the field.
Young said his team’s best player entered spring practice in great shape and looked good in the team’s initial practice for the season.
Jackson will be part of Young’s innovative plan to jump-start Lake Dallas’ offense this season.
The senior will share time with sophomore Dagan Haehn at quarterback.
Jackson will primarily play wide receiver for the Falcons, who are coming off a 2012 season that saw them fall just short of the Class 4A Division II regional semifinals.
Young said Jackson looks primed to have a great year.
“We’re going to use him as much as we can, but his primary thing is receiver, and he looked really good today,” Young said. “He had three or four great catches, and we think he’s going to add a lot to our offense, having him out at there at receiver.”
Last season, Jackson was a second-team All-District 5-4A defensive back. In Lake Dallas’ narrow loss to Waco in the area round of the playoffs, Jackson had two interceptions, a fumble recovery and two catches as a wide receiver.
Young said Jackson will see far less time in the secondary as he switches to see more time at wide receiver and sharing snaps behind center with Haehn.
Haehn makes the jump from the freshmen squad to varsity, the first quarterback to do so in Young’s eight seasons at Lake Dallas. The two take over for Marshall Dominy, who has graduated.
Young said how many snaps Jackson will get depends on how things go in the team’s first two weeks of practice and during different circumstances in the regular season. Jackson could see anywhere between five and 25 snaps per game at quarterback, Young said.
“I think we’ll see how it goes from our intrasquad scrimmage and our scrimmage with Frisco Liberty,” Young said. “And there may be some weeks that it goes different, because there’s some things Josh is going to be able to do against certain defenses that Dagan’s not.”
Young said the two players took advantage of playing 7-on-7 during the summer, where timing between quarterback and receivers is honed. Young said both quarterbacks are comparable, but Jackson’s most valuable asset enables Dagan to be at his best as well.
“I think quarterback-wise, him and Josh are quite the same,” Young said. “They have different skills, but ability-wise, they’re pretty similar. But I think the one advantage Dagan has is that he has Josh at receiver. We think Josh can be a dominant receiver.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.