High School Sports

The state’s most prolific rusher is at Class 4A Benbrook. His cousin is a TXHSFB legend

Benbrook’s Quintan Jackson,center finds the hole in the Anna defense to run through during the first half of  Thursday’s  September 20, 2018 football game at Farington Field in Fort Worth. Special/Bob Haynes
Benbrook’s Quintan Jackson,center finds the hole in the Anna defense to run through during the first half of Thursday’s September 20, 2018 football game at Farington Field in Fort Worth. Special/Bob Haynes Special to the Star-Telegram

Benbrook running back Quintan Jackson has rushed for 2,255 yards and 27 touchdowns through seven games this season.

Not only does he lead all of Dallas-Fort Worth in rushing, but he’s third in the country. His 322.1 yards per game average is second-best in America.

What’s helped Jackson become the elite player he’s proved to be? One reason is all of the tape he’s watched on his cousin, Johnathan Gray, who is one of the all-time great high school football players.

Johnathan Gray celebrates Aledo’s 2011 state championship. Paul Moseley Star-Telegram

“I remember watching his state game on TV – he had like eight touchdowns,” Jackson said.

Gray, who played at Aledo from 2008-11, is second all-time with 10,889 yards rushing. He rushed for 59 and 65 TDs in final two years and holds the career record with 205 TDs, and also has the most 100-yard games at 51.

“I watched a lot of his highlights,” Jackson said. “I use his stats to motivate and push me. I’d like to reach his stats, but those are crazy.”

So how does the state’s leading rusher not have any college offers? He’s made just one official visit.

“It gets frustrating sometimes,” said Jackson, who made a visit to Incarnate Word earlier this month. “It feels like I’m running out of time even when I put up these big numbers.

“But I talk to my friends, coaches and parents, and they all say just be patient. My time is coming.”

Jackson isn’t the only one scratching his head at this.

“It’s very frustrating,” Benbrook coach Cody Slater added. “As a coaching staff, we try to sell our seniors to play at the next level, but a lot of the bigger schools say he’s undersized (Jackson is 5-foot-6), but I always tell him that he can only control what he can control and the rest will take care of itself. Things are starting to stack up for him so it’ll happen for Q.”

Jackson is coming off 329 yards rushing and two touchdowns as the Bobcats rallied to beat Dunbar 29-28 in Week 7.

Benbrook is 6-1 and 3-0 in District 6-4A Division I.

“We’re playing as a team this year,” Jackson said. “We’re helping each other and not being selfish.”

“I’m excited for Quintan and the whole team, and the opportunity to get on the field and get after it on Friday nights,” Slater added. “We’ve come a long way in three years at the varsity level.”

He’s rushed for 300 yards four times this season with his lowest performance at 230 in the season opener.

Jackson rushed for a career-high 445 yards in Week 6 against Lake Worth.

“I’m real surprised,” he said. “I knew I was going to have a good season senior year, but nothing like this. I couldn’t believe it myself.

“My goal coming in was 30 touchdowns and 3,000 yards, and to make the playoffs.”

Jackson has been so good that he surpassed last year’s TD total (17) in Week 4. He passed last season’s yardage (1,521) in Week 6.

“It’s been the offensive line. They’ve gotten stronger and better. It’s easy – I don’t have to make people miss at the line of scrimmage – I pretty much can run 5-10 yards without getting touched,” he said. “I can thank the O-line for that, and the receivers too have done a great job.”

Jackson has rushed for 5,422 yards and 62 TDs in his three-year career.

“I’m excited for him and to see where he finishes the year with. He works for everything he gets,” Slater said. “I’m super proud of his work ethic and attitude. He puts in great effort everyday and it’s no surprise in ball games that he gets rewarded with the way he practices all week.”

In 27 games, Jackson has rushed for 100 or more yards 23 times. He has 14 games of 200 or more.

“My vision on the field is my best asset. I see stuff before it happens,” Jackson said. “I get pretty surprised at how many yards I end up with. I want to beat 599 – get that state record. It’s going to take a lot of work and rest.

“Last time I checked I was like 17th in the nation. My mom and dad had told me too, and I was getting messages. I hope to keep it up and rolling and maybe it’ll be first in the nation at the end of the season.”

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