When Eddie Jackson broke his leg against Texas A&M last October, I’m sure some thought his football career had endured a huge setback. Not Eddie Jackson.
Eddie Jackson is a warrior.
“It was tough, and I dealt with injuries before,” Jackson said after his Chicago Bears played Tennessee during the exhibition season. “I tore my ACL my late freshman year in college. So it’s frustrating, really, just having to tell yourself that, ‘It’s not over.’
“You just got to fight back, especially at a time when you feel like you’re on top of everything, now you’re like, ‘Man — everyone forgetting about me.’ So it was frustrating, but I mean the outcome is better.”
Jackson’s outcome was indeed better.
John Fox and the Chicago Bears drafted him in the fourth round even though he hadn’t played a minute of college football since his injury in October. That chance has paid off so far.
Fox has praised Jackson throughout the preseason.
“He’s very football-aware,” Fox told reporters. “He’s got a good football IQ. He has learned our defense very quickly. He is a natural centerfielder, meaning he plays the ball very well.”
The same guy who a year ago who was worried about people forgetting him now is making a name for himself. I asked how playing for Nick Saban at Alabama had helped his ability to win a starting job at safety as a rookie for the Bears.
“One of the biggest things was the competition at Alabama,” Jackson said. “We had a lot of competition at ‘Bama to deal with day-in and day-out, and there’s a lot of competition here to deal with day-in and day-out, so attacking and approaching the game with a positive mindset, and just learning everything you can from the older guys, and going out there and not trying to be bigger than anyone else. Just play your role, put the work in and you do that and you just keep moving forward, and everything will fall into place.”
Jackson’s future in the NFL looks bright. He was a dominant force at Alabama, and his training camp and preseason with the Bears have proven his talents will transition to pro football. Nope, Eddie Jackson is not soon to be forgotten.
(You can follow Hannah Stephens on Twitter @HannahESPN)
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