Robert Jackson begins his fifth year as receivers coach for the Illini and third as recruiting coordinator in 2003.
For the fourth consecutive year, Jackson's receiving corps hauled in over 2,000 yards receiving and caught an impressive 21 touchdowns. Nine times Illinois receivers caught for 100+ yards led by All-Big Ten pass catcher Brandon Lloyd who had five. Senior Walter Young had two 100+ yard days including back-to-back games at Wisconsin and vs. eventual national champion Ohio State. The Illini receivers were once again led by the duo of Brandon Lloyd and Walter Young. Lloyd racked up his second consecutive 1,000 yard season catching 65 passes for 1,010 yards and nine scores, while Young added 822 yards on 56 catches with six touchdowns. The most productive receiving corp to ever play at Illinois, Lloyd and Young were drafted in 2003 and Aaron Moorehead and Greg Lewis signed free agent contracts, marking four from last year's class working for a spot on an NFL roster.
In 2001, Illinois' duo of sophomore Brandon Lloyd and junior Walter Young combined for over 160 yards per game and 12 catches per contest. Lloyd earned second-team All-Big Ten honors after a regular season that saw six 100-yard performances. The mark tied a school record set by David Williams in 1985. Young racked up over 100 yards in the final three games producing a dual threat to defenses.
Jackson also transformed former walk-ons Greg Lewis and Aaron Moorehead into two of the team's most reliable receivers, making the wide receiving corp one of the deepest in the Big Ten Conference. In 2000, Lewis was the leading receiver on an offense that topped the 2,300-yard mark. Both have a chance to break into the school's top-10 career yardage and touchdown lists.
In 1999, under Jackson's tutelage, senior Michael Dean closed out his Illini career with 608 yards and four touchdown receptions, while then-freshman Lloyd produced a record-breaking debut campaign with 511 yards and two TD catches, setting a new freshman receiving yards record in the process. The Fighting Illini receivers smashed 1998's totals, posting 2,805 yards and 26 touchdown receptions, while averaging 233.8 yards per contest.
Prior to coming to Illinois, Jackson spent two seasons as Director of Football Operations at Oregon State. Joining the OSU staff in 1991, Jackson started as receivers coach from 1992-97 before becoming assistant head coach and receivers coach in 1996-97. In his eight years with the Beavers, Jackson served as academic coordinator for the football program and helped deliver a team that led the nation in graduation rates in 1994 (94.6 percent) with 25 Academic All-Pac 10 selections. During his last two seasons at Oregon State, Jackson monitored the football budget, coordinated all support areas related to OSU football, assisted in the certification process for incoming student-athletes, managed building administration and scheduled all football trips and weekends.
The Harvey, Ill., native has been renowned for his longtime Illinois prep and college career. A highly successful prep coach at Thornwood High School from 1974-86, Jackson served as head football coach and baseball coach before moving to Northern Illinois as receivers coach from 1986-91. While at his alma mater, Jackson helped the Huskies rank among the nation's leading offensive teams, posting a 9-2 record in 1989 and recruited former NCAA record-holder QB Stacey Robinson.
Jackson played several sports at Thronton Township High School and served as senior class president. He was a four-year letterwinner at Northern Illinois in baseball, ranking among the nation's leading hitters as a junior and earning all-conference and All-NCAA tournament honors. He received his bachelor's degree from NIU in 1974.
Jackson and his wife, JoAnn, reside in Urbana. They are the parents of current Illinois defensive back Marc Jackson and former Illini safety Bobby, who plays for the Green Bay Packers.
ILLINOIS NFL WIDE RECEIVERS (coached by Robert Jackson)
THE JACKSON FILE