Jackson feeling more comfortable at QB for LHS football this summer

Lawrence High quarterback Tre' Jackson throws a pass during the KU football camp Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at the Anderson Family Football Complex.

For the second summer in a row, Tre’ Jackson is splitting reps at quarterback for Lawrence High’s football team.

During the Kansas football camp in early June, Jackson and Jackson Dooley both saw action at quarterback during the many plays of scrimmage that LHS got against a number of talented teams. Last summer, Jackson split snaps under center with Garrett Romero, who graduated this past spring.

“He’s been one of my best friends ever since I moved here,” Jackson said of Dooley. “We both really help each other out. There was a play where I could have thrown a different ball, and he’s like, ‘You should have thrown it there.'”

But this offseason has a different feel for Jackson, who started last year as the backup quarterback. Romero started the first two games before Jackson eventually took over under center.

Jackson held the starting job for the rest of the regular season. Jackson threw for 838 yards and five scores, adding another 341 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in six games. An injury sidelined him for the playoff game against Derby, and Dooley filled in admirably in his absence.

This summer, Jackson appears more comfortable leading the offense. And that was evident during the two days of camp, when Jackson made a number of plays through the air and on the ground.

“I feel a lot more comfortable, just knowing that my o-line has me,” Jackson said. “I have time to throw, time to run. Just a little more time for everything. A little more time than I had last year.”

Jackson is also more comfortable with the system now that he has a year under his belt.

Head coach Steve Rampy is entering his second season at the helm, meaning the concepts and lingo are not as new as they were this time last year for Jackson. It helped the entire Lawrence football team, because players were not trying to learn a whole new playbook during camp.

“He has more control of the offense,” Rampy said. “Both quarterbacks have. (They) know what is going on, being here last year.”

Jackson is still finding ways to improve as well. He’s hoping to work on his arm this summer, becoming a more accurate thrower. He’s constantly throwing to receivers after weights to work on his timing and ball location on certain routes.

If he can perfect the little things, Jackson is confident that it will translate to success on the gridiron. The Lions went 1-8 last year, with their lone victory coming against Olathe Northwest.

“I’m really excited, I think we can do a lot better than we did last year and just have a run,” Jackson said. “I think we can go far. We just all have to work and we all have to really want it.”

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