Long Beach Poly alum DeSean Jackson hit a rare milestone last weekend with the Buccaneers. Although he only had two catches for 25 yards, that yardage took him across the 10,000 yards receiving line, putting his career stats at 571 catches for 10,013 yards and 52 touchdowns, an average of 17.5 yards per reception.
That’s the most catches, most yardage, and second-most touchdowns of the more than 60 Poly alums to make the NFL, and Jackson has already made the case as standing next to Willie McGinest as the most successful Long Beach product at the pro level. But his 11-year career is also one of the best of any receiver in history, and it begs the question: is DeSean Jackson a Hall of Famer?
First, let’s look at the numbers. He’s No. 47 all-time in the NFL in receiving yardage, No. 39 all-time in yards per catch, No. 90 in receptions, and No. 112 in receiving touchdowns.
Those numbers, along with three Pro Bowl nods, put him in the conversation. Fifteen of the 46 players ahead of him in receiving yardage are already in the Hall of Fame, and another 15 aren’t yet eligible. Even better for Jackson, 22 players with fewer receiving yards are in Canton as well.
Even though some might be surprised by the names he’s already passed in terms of pure statistics, the true strength of Jackson’s candidacy is as a specialist. He can already lay claim to being one of the best two or three deep threats in the history of the sport. Jackson is tied with Jerry Rice for most deep touchdowns (60+ yards) with 23, and is at or near the top of the leaderboard in all advanced statistics regarding downfield passing.
He’s also one of the best return men in NFL history, which bolsters that deep threat, home-run hitter image; he has 1,300 return yards and four touchdowns, which puts him at No. 21 all-time despite not being a full-time returner for very long. He also has one of the most memorable returns ever, a walk-off punt return for a touchdown against the Giants.
His candidacy will likely depend on two things: the willingness of the committee to consider him as a deep threat specialist, and on how the rest of this season and the next few go. In the 11th year of his career, there’s no telling how much longer Jackson will be playing and producing. Further longevity would be a huge boost to Jackson’s chances. Through six games in 2018 he has 526 yards receiving; if he can double that over the next 10 games he’d have his sixth 1,000-yard receiving season, but he’d also jump to No. 39 all-time, passing another pair of current Hall of Famers.
The answer to the question at the top of the story? Jackson is currently a bubble Hall of Fame candidate with an intriguing case as a specialist that’s bolstered by great career numbers. If he can keep producing for another few years, he could put himself in a strong position to become Poly’s first-ever Hall of Famer.
Long Beach Poly
It was another frustrating day for the Titans and Poly grads Jurrell Casey and Jayon Brown, two of the team’s top players. The Titans fell 20-19 in London to the Chargers, despite a sack each from the Poly products. Brown continues to lead the team in tackles with 47 on the team, 10 more than the second-best. He also has three sacks, second on the team only to Casey, who has 3.5.
JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Steelers were on a bye, allowing him to come home for his cousin Liz Schuster’s playoff girls’ volleyball win for Poly over Mira Costa. Jamize Olawale’s Cowboys fell to Washington, while Marcedes Lewis’ Packers were also on a bye.
Kaelin Clay continues to wait for a phone call after being released from the Giants, and JoJo Wicker remains on Washington’s practice squad.
Joel Bitonio’s Browns continued to put in extra work, going to overtime for the fourth time in seven games before falling to the Buccaneers to fall to 2-4-1.
Three other Moore League products were inactive for this week’s games as Compton’s Datone Jones remains on the Cowboys’ injured reserve, Lakewood’s Matt Pryor has yet to crack the active gameday roster for the Eagles, and Jordan’s John Ross made it into the Bengals’ Sunday Night Football game but came out with a groin injury.