Mathomedi running back a breakaway threat, too

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2013 - 1:50 AM

Jackson Hull hopes to score more long TDs this season with improved speed.

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Mahtomedi's Jackson Hull tried to cut back against South St. Paul's Austen Bauer last September.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

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Mahtomedi’s running game is looking to put up some serious points this fall. Most of the offensive line consisted of juniors last season. Returning to the backfield is senior Jackson Hull.

Hull, a 6-foot-1½, 200-pound running back, opened a lot of eyes last fall. He rushed for 1,370 yards and 12 touchdowns on 232 carries for the Zephyrs.

He returns to an offense that was potent a year ago and is looking to be even more dangerous in 2013 with a bigger, faster and stronger line in front of him.

“I’m happy,” Hull said in a nod to linemen Tom Linden, Michael Baumann, Teddy Bowie and Troy Zajac. “We should be having a good time out there.”

Hull is a power back with speed. He can crash through the line of scrimmage and break a few tackles for first downs and wear down defenses. He tries to model himself after Ahmad Bradshaw of the Indianapolis Colts.

One thing’s for sure: His teammates enjoying paving the way for him.

“Jackson is a gifted athlete and a horse on the field,” said Baumann, the team captain and a two-way lineman. “He’s a competitor and does everything he can to get the win. He’s a team player and all the players love him. There’s nobody else I would rather block for.”

Hull is working on his breakaway speed. Once he breaks open, he wants to hit that fourth gear and take it to the end zone. He didn’t lack for touchdowns last year; he just wants more of them.

Hull was pleased with his big season as a junior, but it’s only motivated him to continue improving.

The results are starting to show in his size. He recently hit 200 pounds on the scale.

“Just reached it at [a football camp at] North Dakota State,” he said. “They weighed me in at 200, and I was pumped.”

It hasn’t been just speed and strength training. This summer Hull participated in camps at Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota and NDSU.

Football is Hull’s pride and joy, but he said he’s also open to playing college baseball. He played his first full season of high school baseball last spring. He had previously just played summer baseball, devoting spring to primarily focus on developing his football speed and quickness while competing in track and field as a freshman and sophomore.

The baseball team helped recruit him this year.

Hull’s main goal is to play college football, but if the right school wants him to play baseball, he’s ready to listen. He’s a solid center fielder who plans to be back on the diamond for the Zephyrs next spring.

Hull already has talked to Northern Illinois University and South Dakota State. But for now he’s focused on his senior year with the Zephyrs, becoming a better overall player and making a postseason run into late November.

“Keep getting faster and stronger,” Hull said.

Baumann said Hull would be a great addition to any college program.

“He’s everything you want in a running back and a person,” Baumann said.

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