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.