JONESBORO, AR (A-STATE) – Selected by the Arkansas State football coaching staff and players, Colton Jackson (Ozark, Ark.) has been named the recipient of the 2015 Gary Withrow Award that is presented annually to the Red Wolves' outstanding offensive lineman of the year.
Jackson, who earned First Team All-Sun Belt Conference recognition as a junior in 2015, will be presented with an individual crystal trophy honoring him as the latest Withrow Award winner Thursday night during the Red Wolves' men's basketball game against Texas State at the Convocation Center. His name will also be inscribed on the Gary Withrow Award plaque that resides in the offensive linemen meeting room.
Jackson helped lead A-State to a 9-4 overall record and the 2015 Sun Belt Conference championship with an unblemished 8-0 mark, making it the only program in the nation to win four league titles over the last five seasons.
Jackson is the fourth junior to ever win the Gary Withrow Award, joining Tanner Jenkins in 2005, Matt Mandich in 2007 and Derek Newton in 2009. Behind Jackson and the offensive line, Arkansas State ranked 12th in the nation in scoring offense, 15th in rushing offense and 37th in total offense during 2015.
The award was created and is funded by the Old Warriors Foundation, which consists of former Arkansas State University football players. Withrow coached A-State offensive linemen for 17 years. His pupils included former NFL Players Ken Jones (Buffalo Bills) and Ray Brown (San Francisco, St. Louis, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions), who concluded his 20-year NFL career with the Redskins and is now the assistant offensive line coach for the Carolina Panthers.
"Coach Withrow had a tough love relationship with his players," said Tommy Walker (former A-State player, 2013 Hall of Honor inductee, 2014 All-Centennial Team), who played under Withrow's direction in the early 1980s. "He demanded the best out of all of his players, which meant his players giving their best at all times. We believed in him as a coach, and we believed in each other as players. We believed and still believe in the brotherhood of Arkansas State University football."
Withrow's motto was "you're tougher, 'cause you live tougher".
Gary Withrow Award Winners
2003 – Kimani Jones
2004 – Steven Gibbs
2005 – Tanner Jenkins
2006 – Tanner Jenkins
2007 – Matt Mandich
2008 – Matt Mandich
2009 – Derek Newton
2010 – Sifa Etu
2011 – Tom Castilaw
2012 – Zack McKnight
2013 – Steven Haunga
2014 – Alan Wright