"He was the hardest and most disciplined worker when it came to playing basketball and partying," said Wayne Campbell, a Miner from 1982-88. "Nobody was going to party harder than Jeep. There were times where we'd break curfew and be out partying until three or four in the morning, knowing we had practice at the crack of dawn. But who would be the guy to get us out of bed the next morning? We needed Jeep to pull that off. And we were never late for practice."
After earning limited playing time as a freshman, Jackson began to assert himself as a sophomore during the 1984-85 season. He backed up Luster Goodwin at point guard and also saw extensive minutes at off-guard. He scored 15 points in UTEP's 87-81 win over San Diego State in El Paso. The Miners and the Aztecs tied for first place in the WAC standings that year with 13-5 records.
As a junior in 1985-86, Jackson dished out a career-high 115 assists, while serving as a mentor to the freshman Hardaway.
"Tim wouldn't have had the ambition to take his game to the next level without Jeep forcing him to work on his game after practice," Campbell said. "That's not an easy task when you have a three-hour practice, and coach Haskins ran all of the energy out of us.
"That's just the kind of character that Jeep had. He was our starting point guard. He was helping the guy that wanted his job. Now who does that?"
Jackson added 108 assists as a senior, while tying for team-high scoring honors. He scored a total of 39 points in his last two college games, both in the NCAA Tournament - a 98-91 overtime win over Arizona (23 points) and an 84-82 loss to Iowa (16 points), both in Tucson. Jackson recorded five steals, a UTEP NCAA Tournament record, versus the Hawkeyes.
"He was definitely going to be a first or second round draft pick. That's the game he had," Richmond said. "He loved the game of basketball, and loved playing for the Miner fans more than anything."
"I think he would've made a hell of a pro," Feitl said. "I played with Kenny Smith and Tim Hardaway, and Jeep had the right combination of athletic ability and being coachable."
"He had tremendous heart, tremendous swagger and tremendous confidence," Floyd said. "He had a great smile and he was a great, great player. He was the guard that we really needed to affect winning. We had great bigs, great twos and great threes prior to his arrival. But we always came up a little bit short. It's not coincidental that after Jeep arrived, the string of conference championships and NCAA Tournament teams began."
Jackson touched Campbell's life to such a great extent that he named his son Landon Hernell Campbell.
"He will always be a part of my life, no matter what," Campbell said. "I'm fortunate that I was able to spend four years with him."
"I seems incredible that it has been 25 years," Floyd said. "You remember his giant personality like it was yesterday. His spirit and enthusiasm really rubbed off on our crowds. He was such a hustler and such a winner. He made it easy for our fans to stand up and cheer."
While his former teammates and coaches remember Jeep a quarter-century after his passing, Richmond imagined a future where he was still here.
"I think he would have done a lot of basketball camps and clinics in El Paso," he said. "He would have been involved with a lot of stuff. You would have seen a lot more ex-players coming back. We probably would've been around coach Haskins a lot more [before his death in 2008]. I can see Jeep on the phone now saying `Yo, let's go.'
"He would've been an even bigger cat now than he was back then."
Editor's Note: According to a 1987 Los Angeles Times article, the El Paso medical examiner said Jackson used cocaine hours before he collapsed and died during the benefit game.