KSLSPORTS FEED

Ja’Quinden Jackson Finding New Life In Utah’s Running Back Room

Apr 8, 2023, 2:27 PM

Follow @kslsports...

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah football has been on a major healing journey the past two seasons with running back Ja’Quinden Jackson directly in the middle of it.

The shocking and tragic losses of running back Ty Jordan and cornerback Aaron Lowe rocked the Utah Athletics family to its core. While a lot of people were directly affected for one reason or another, Jackson was particularly impacted as Jordan was the reason for his transfer to the Utes from Texas in 2020, and Lowe became Jackson’s shoulder to lean on after Jordan’s passing until his murder in September of 2021.

Recently, Utah football relaunched their “Why U Play” series starting with Jackson who talked about his background, connections to Jordan, and Lowe, and finding new life in Utah’s running back room.

“Being Out There, Running Around, Having Fun Again Just Lifted A Lot Of Weight Off My Shoulders”

The 22 Forever scholarship recipient has been very candid in the past about how Jordan and Lowe’s deaths took the wind out of his sails for the first year or so he was at Utah. Jackson has also talked about how a call-up to the running back room in the middle of last season after coming in as a quarterback helped him find joy in the game again.

“I found my joy again,” Jackson said after he made his debut at running back against ASU in 2022. “I’m just going to leave it at that. I found my joy again. I actually had fun just being out there playing again. I found my joy again. I’m loving it.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

As spring ball kicked off a few weeks back, Jackson reiterated how happy he continues to be with his move to running back, and how from top to bottom, he feels like he’s with a good group of guys while getting the support he needs.

“Jaylon Glover, Chris Curry- basically the whole running back room plus the G.A.s and coaches,” Jackson said. “We all are a family. Outside of football, we still hang out. That group right there is one of a kind.”

Jackson’s position coach, legendary Ute, Quinton Ganther feels similarly about his quarterback-turned-running back, noting how special it is to see him re-love the game after so much heartbreak- something Ganther says the two have really bonded over.

“It’s good,” Ganther said. “God doesn’t make mistakes. You know, he was feeling down and out- we’ve all been there. I’ve thought about if I wanted to continue coaching and sometimes God puts people in your life to assure you, you are doing the right thing. That was one thing me and Ja’Quinden had a good connection immediately because we share some of the same backgrounds, some of the same thoughts on things like that. We continue to be here for each other as far as the group as well. We all push each other and lean on each other because life gets hard.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by KSL Sports (@kslsports)

Playing about half of last year at running back while still needing to be engaged at quarterback just in case, Jackson accumulated 78 carries for 531 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging about 6.8 yards per carry. In 2023 it is full steam ahead for Jackson at running back, and Ganther believes it will make a big difference for his rising star.

“He is progressing at a rapid pace,” Ganther said. “He’s picking things up, starting to understand things. It was good to see his growth over the season because he was switched midway and every week he just kept getting better, and better, and better. This is going to be a big spring for him because now he gets to come into his own. Relax and hone in on the position. He doesn’t have a million things he has to think of because even last year when he switched over to the running back position, he was still a third or fourth string emergency quarterback. He was still thinking about all of those things and now he can just hone in on becoming the best running back he can be.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports

 

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

KSLSports Feed

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Salt Lake City Selected As Team Base Camp Candidate For 2026 World Cup

Salt Lake City could get in on the 2026 World Cup fun as a Team's Base Camp. A countries national team could call Utah its short-term home.

14 minutes ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Spring Ball Review: A Look At Utah Football’s Wide Receivers

Today’s focus lands on the wide receivers who have been a little quiet for the Utes in recent years but look strong for 2024.

22 minutes ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Utah Now One Vote Away From Hosting 2034 Winter Games. Here’s What Just Happened

The Utah bid to host the 2034 Winter Games is headed to a final vote by the International Olympic Committee in July.

58 minutes ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Ryan Crouser Takes His Strength To Paris Olympics With Eyes On Gold

American track and field athlete Ryan Crouser hopes that his strength can lead him to a gold medal in his third-straight Olympics.

3 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Jerry West, Hall Of Fame Selection And NBA Logo Inspiration, Dies At 86

Jerry West, who was selected to the Hall of Fame three times, and whose silhouette is the basis of the NBA logo, died Wednesday morning.

4 hours ago

Follow @kslsports...

KSL Sports

Remembering Steve Klauke, The Nicest Guy In Sports

How does a lifelong storyteller from Chicago, Illinois, end up building a career as a minor league in Utah? "The interstate."

20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Ja’Quinden Jackson Finding New Life In Utah’s Running Back Room