June 3, 2003
NEW YORK --- Los Angeles Avengers offensive specialist and former Washington State wide receiver Chris Jackson was selected as the Arena Football League's Offensive Player of the Year Tuesday.
Jackson edged out Chicago Rush offensive specialist Antonio Chatman and Los Angeles teammate Tony Graziani in the closest year-end vote in AFL history. The league's 16 head coaches comprise the voting panel.
In his fourth season, Jackson re-wrote the Avengers' record book by hauling in 117 receptions for 1,737 yards and 46 touchdowns, which tied an AFL record. The former Cougar also connected on three pass attempts for 49 yards and three touchdowns.
The Santa Ana, Calif., native helped lead Los Angeles to its second straight playoff appearance and first quarterfinal appearance in 2003. Jackson earned AFL Rookie of the Year honors in 2000.
During his two-year career on the Palouse, Jackson compiled 64 receptions and 1,145 yards with 13 touchdowns. His most memorable performance helped seal a trip to the Rose Bowl in 1997, as Jackson caught eight passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns against Washington, leading WSU past the Huskies in Seattle 41-35.
Washington State has produced three of the last six Arena Football League Offensive Players of the Year. Another former Cougar wide receiver, Calvin Schexnayder, captured the award with the Arizona Rattlers in 1998, while quarterback Aaron Garcia was honored in 2001 with the New York Dragons.