A third of the way into the 2009 season, Faith Christian Academy star football player Robert Jackson has transferred from Faith Christian Academy to Griffin Christian High School.
The 2008 Griffin Daily News Player of the Year and 2009 GDN Best All-Around Player practiced Tuesday for the first time with the Crusaders, where he will join a backfield that includes 2009 Griffin Daily News Offensive Player of the Year Anthony Lewis.
“Having him and Anthony (Lewis) back there like that has got to help our program,” said Griffin Christian head coach Kerry Phillips.
The senior (1,400 yards rushing 25 total touchdowns and 142 tackles last season) led the Lions with eight touchdowns this season, including four in the last game where he filled in at quarterback and started in place of the starter who was injured the week before.
“I want to wish him the best,” said first-year FCA Lions head coach Nelson Grist, whose team (2-1) plays a big region game Friday at home against Ballard Christian 2-2). “You don’t lose a player like that and not miss him, but we’re a team and we’re rallying around each other. Everyone will have to step it up to the next level to make up for it.”
As a sophomore, Jackson totaled 18 TDs in eight games, including six rushing, four receiving and five on kick returns as well as three on fumble and interception returns, while amassing 550 yards rushing on 75 carries, 200 receiving on 24 receptions and 120 on seven punt returns and 310 on 10 kickoff returns.
That same season, he added 96 solo stops to go along with 11 interceptions, eight fumble recoveries, seven sacks and five forced fumbles from his linebacker position.
“He’ll help on offense and defense once he learns the scheme,” said Phillips, whose team (2-1) travels to play its GISA Region 2-AAA opener at John Milledge Academy (2-0-1) on Friday in Milledgeville, Ga. “It’s not going to be Friday night. He might be in on the kickoff return team.”
Through one of the assistant coaches at GCHS, Jackson said he did not want to talk after practice Wednesday because it had been a long day.
The Crusaders used the one-two running back punch of Lewis (169-1,454 and 21 rushing TDs rushing, plus 1 TD receiving and 2 on returns) and fullback transfer Trey Epperson (185-1,284 yards and 11 TDs rushing, 2 TDs receiving and 1 on returns) to win the school’s first region championship and earn its first state playoff berth last season.
Epperson, however, graduated. That left Lewis, who returned for his senior season this year, to do the bulk of the work this season. He has done just that, turning in a Herculean effort through three games, rushing 47 times for 571 yards and 6 TDs.