Feb. 13, 2003
In the 1997 Apple Cup, Washington State wide receiver Chris Jackson delivered the signature performance of his Cougar career. The Santa Ana, Calif., native hauled in eight catches for 185 yards and two touchdowns, including a memorable, 50-yard sprint to the endzone in the third quarter after battling through two Husky defenders.
But even that historic, heroic performance in one of the biggest games in program history was a modest effort in comparison to Jackson's current contributions to the Los Angeles Avengers of the Arena Football League.
The 6-2, 204-pound offensive specialist put up huge numbers in each of his first three seasons in the league. Jackson racked up 238 receptions for 3,255 yards and 67 touchdowns. He also played defense and was named the AFL's "Ironman of the Week" in June 2001 after recording two tackles and an interception.
In 2003, Jackson looks to be taking his game to another level. In Los Angeles' first two games this season, he has 15 catches for 234 yards and eight touchdowns. He is already the Avengers' all-time leading receiver and scorer, and was honored with a bobblehead doll last year.
Jackson is not the only former Cougar playing in the AFL. Fellow "Fab Five" receiver Kevin McKenzie plays wide receiver and defensive back for the San Jose Sabercats. The Long Beach, Calif., native has two tackles in 2003.
A pair of former WSU quarterbacks are also making an impact. Aaron Garcia, who finished his collegiate career at Sacramento State, has thrown for 663 yards and eight touchdowns this season for the New York Dragons. Chad DeGrenier, who finished his collegiate career at Division II Midwestern State is on the injured reserve with the Carolina Cobras. DeGrenier spent the last three seasons with the Arizona Rattlers.