Eddie Jackson: Leading By Example

Freshman year of college is a make or break year for most students and athletes alike. Getting good grades, making the team, finding the right friends, and making a good first impression — these are the pressures former University of Alabama safety Eddie Jackson had to face.

Luckily for Jackson, he had a number of great mentors on campus to make sure he was headed in the right direction.

Learning From A Legend

Landon Collins and HaHa Clinton-Dix, both upperclassmen safeties during Jackson’s freshman season, were a big reason he was able to make such a smooth transition to the college level. Jackson credits Clinton-Dix for taking him under his wing as soon as he stepped foot on campus.

“He (Clinton-Dix) really took me under his wing and sat me down right away,” Jackson said. “He told me about things like, when Coach Saban yells at you, to listen to what he’s saying and not how he’s saying it.”

On the other side of things, instead of taking Jackson under his wing like Clinton-Dix, Collins led by example with his great work ethic, which Jackson said always pushed him to work harder in practice.

Learning from a legendary coach like Nick Saban, and the two pro-bowl safeties ahead of him in Clinton-Dix and Collins, motivated Jackson to become a leader himself.

Captain Eddie

The hard work began to pay off when Jackson was named one of the Crimson Tide’s captains this past season. Not only did he work to prepare himself for a great senior season and NFL career ahead, but he also led by example for the underclassmen, just like Collins had done for him.

I like to lead by example and I don’t try to be in a guy’s face, unless I really have to. Some guys really want to see you do it, and think if you’re doing it then they are going to do it.
Eddie Jackson

One way that Jackson shown his teammates by making an impression, was with his big plays. Over the past four years, he became one of college football’s premiere defensive playmakers at safety by jumping routes to intercept passes, returning interceptions for touchdowns, and making the big hit to force fumbles.

During his junior season, Jackson had 46 tackles and six interceptions, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Jackson also made big plays on special teams, running two punts back for touchdowns his senior year.

Being a playmaker means everything to me, especially when you get that ball in your hand and turn a five-yard play into an 80-yard play. You know, most guys get 10-15 yards but I try to take it to the house to score a touchdown and put some points on the board.
Eddie Jackson

Some players are born with what it takes to be a great leader, playmaker, and role model, while others have to work hard for those skills. Jackson considers himself someone with the natural god-given talent to see the game from a different perspective on the field.

The game slows down for me when I am out there. Once you really get the feel of the game and the knowledge, everything slows down which makes things easier. You are able to recognize plays, or a certain type of situation before it occurs.
Eddie Jackson

As Jackson makes the leap to the NFL, the next few months of his life will be a daunting challenge. However, with the right players and coaches as mentors in the Chicago Bears system, he should have no problems with the adjustment.


  • Ehtha Yu:

    Sent me that magazine

  • Eddie Jackson:

    You’re looking at the next pro bowler from Alabama taking his skills to another level

  • Amn:

    Roll Tide

  • Eastbay:

    Hi Ehtha – you can request a catalog here: https://www.eastbay.com/catRequest/category/

  • Charles Chapman II:

    Really Motivational… I Love Football With A Passion And Would Like To Be A Leader On The Field Like Eddie. I Watch Bama Football Every Saturday During The Season. The University of Alabama Is Actually The School I Would Like To Attend. I Look To You Eddie And Keep Doing You, Bro.

    P.S. I Live In Chicago.

    Sincerely, Charles.

  • Jeanne Van Eperen:

    Nice job Trent!!! Love your writing!

  • Curtis Shelton:

    This kid will make his legendary mark in the NFL. Chicago got a steal right here.

  • shane schwartz:

    how do I get the magazines

  • Eastbay:

    Shane, you can request a catalog here: https://www.eastbay.com/catRequest/category/

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