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Countdown to Kickoff (83): Can RM athlete Jackson McChesney hit the ground running? Youbechya.

Jackson McChesney at The Opening in Salt Lake City.
Jackson McChesney at The Opening in Salt Lake City.
Student Sports

The football season might seem in the distance but here at Vanquish The Foe, we’re counting down the days until the first game against the Utes. To help ease out way unto the season, we’re going to spend every day exploring a specific question pertaining to BYU football. Some of the questions will focus on important topics (offensive play calling) and others will explore the subjects of a rather...inconsequential nature.

Today we highlight another speedster in Jackson McChesney.

Earlier this week we highlighted incoming freshman Luc Andrada and how his sprinter speed could make a big impact on the field for the Cougars this fall. As it turns out Luc won’t be the only pure athlete looking to make a big impact in Provo.

2017 signee Jackson McChesney, younger brother of BYU defensive back Austin McChesney, is back from his LDS mission and will join the team in time for fall camp. While he does’t quite have the sprinting pedigree of Andrada, Jackson was a state finalist in the 100m and 200m in Utah his senior year. What’s more important, is that unlike Luc who was a quarterback most of his high school career, Jackson won’t have to make the adjustment to lining up as a wide receiver or running back.

The younger McChesney comes to BYU as an experienced hybrid running back that combined for over 700 yards rushing and 500 yards receiving, earning him 5A First Team All-State honors. When you watch his tape it’s clear that he will fit perfectly into the Jeff Grimes offense that heavily utilizes pre-snap motion and jet sweeps. Equally important is his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. In the video below you’ll see that Jackson doesn’t just line up as a traditional running back. He’ll often line up as a slot receiver or even as a wide out, using his speed to blow by defensive backs and his athleticism to go up for passes.

Aside from his big play ability, which is apparent, it’s the little things the make McChesney an impressive all around player. On a kickoff return in which Jackson doesn’t receive the kick you can see him fly down the field to make a block to spring the other return man for a score. On another play you see him burst through the line of scrimmage to seal a linebacker which would clear the lane for a big play. Speed and quickness will get him noticed but determination and a willingness to to do the little things will get him on the field.

At the moment it would seem that Jackson would be able to make an impact in the slot receiver position currently held by senior Aleve Hifo and backed up by Dax Milne. The two of them should get their fair share of the reps but there will still be opportunities for McChesney to step in. He could very well fill in a running back but odds are most of the playing time will go to Ty’son Williams, Emmanuel Esukpa and Lopini Katoa. Even with those positions filled there should be plenty of opportunities for him to showcase his athleticism on special teams.