Jackson with the Eagles in August 2009.
No. 10 Philadelphia Eagles
|Wide receiver / Return specialist|
|Date of birth:December 1, 1986|
|Place of birth: Los Angeles, California|
|High school: Long Beach (CA) Poly|
|NFL Draft: 2008 / Round: 2 / Pick: 49|
|Debuted in 2008 for the Philadelphia Eagles|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 11, 2013
DeSean William Jackson (born December 1, 1986) is an American football wide receiver and return specialist for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of California, Berkeley, and was a two-time consensus All-American. He was drafted by the Eagles in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Jackson has been selected to the Pro Bowl twice, and was the first player selected to the Pro Bowl at two different positions in the same year when he was named to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a wide receiver and return specialist.
Jackson was born in Los Angeles, California. He attended Long Beach Polytechnic High School, the same high school as future Eagles teammate Winston Justice and many other current NFL players. He became one of the top wide receiver recruits in the nation, with many collegiate football programs pursuing his services. He was named the 2004 Glenn Davis Award winner by the Los Angeles Times as Southern California's player of the year. He also played baseball and was scouted by both the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies in his senior year.
Jackson caught 60 passes for 1,075 yards for 15 touchdowns his senior year, leading the Jackrabbits to a CIF Southern Section championship. He was pressed into service last minute as a defensive back in the section title game against Los Alamitos High School, responding with two interceptions, one which he returned 68 yards for a touchdown to help fuel Long Beach Poly's 21–6 victory.
To cap off his high school career, Jackson was voted the Most Valuable Player at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, where he caught seven passes for 141 yards and passed for a 45-yard touchdown in leading the West to a 35–3 victory in a game that featured 80 of the nation's top players. However, he was also involved in an embarrassing play when he attempted to somersault from the five-yard line for a touchdown, but landed on the one-yard line, leaving the ball there. ESPN.com's Tom Lemming rated him as the number four wide receiver in the country, PrepStar Magazine named him an All-American and a member of its Dream Team Top 100 players, and Calhisports.com voted him the 2004 Mr. Football State Player of the Year. He committed to the football program at the University of California, Berkeley under Coach Jeff Tedford, making his announcement on Southern California's FSN West. Jackson waited until the deadline to choose between scholarship offers for California and the University of Southern California.
Jackson attended the University of California, where he played for the California Golden Bears football team from 2005 to 2007. Wearing the number 1, in his first collegiate game against Sacramento State in 2005, he scored both an offensive and special teams touchdown, returning a punt 49 yards for a score. Throughout his freshman season, Jackson picked up 38 receptions for 601 yards along with seven touchdowns, eclipsing the 100-yard mark three times. In the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl game against BYU, Jackson tallied 130 yards and two scores.
Coming into his sophomore year with high expectations, Jackson displayed more of his talent and playmaking ability, tallying 1,060 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Jackson also returned four punts for touchdowns. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors as both a punt returner and a wide receiver. Jackson garnered national recognition with selections to first-team All-America by the Associated Press, Walter Camp Football Foundation, the Football Writers Association of America, the Sporting News and Rivals.com as a punt returner. Jackson also captured the inaugural Randy Moss Award as the top return man in the nation. In one of only two California losses in Pac-10 play, Jackson had a 95-yard punt return for a touchdown against Arizona.
Jackson entered his junior season being considered a Heisman Trophy candidate. His season began promisingly, with a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee in the opening game of the season. Against eleventh-ranked Oregon, he caught 11 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bears to their first victory in Autzen Stadium since 1987. Jackson finished the 2007 season with 65 catches for 762 yards, and scored six touchdowns as a receiver. Jackson was named an All-American as a return specialist. Jackson suffered several minor injuries that limited his effectiveness at times during the season, along with a right thigh injury that forced him to miss most of the game against Washington and the Big Game against Stanford. He also missed the first quarter of the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl for violating undisclosed team rules.
Jackson left Cal following the 2007 season, declaring for the 2008 NFL Draft. He departed holding Pac-10 records for punts returned for a touchdown both in a season (four), and in a career (six). Jackson ranks third all-time at California for receiving yards with 2,423 and receiving touchdowns with 22. He is sixth in receptions (162). Jackson finished with 52 career plays of 20 yards or more, making up 23 percent of his 226 touches.
|Ht||Wt||40-yd dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 9¾ in||169 lb||4.35 s||1.53 s||2.52 s||4.19 s||6.82 s||34½ in||10 ft 2 in|
|Height, weight and 40-yard dash from 2008 NFL Combine, all other values from Pro Day workout|
Going to the 2008 NFL Draft Jackson was considered one of the top ten wide receivers available in a draft class littered with talented wide outs. The only knock on Jackson was his small frame, being measured at 5'9¾ " and just over 170 pounds. During the pre-draft period, Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice was quoted saying that Jackson "has all the talent in the world. There's no reason he can't be everything he wants to be at the next level." At the 2008 NFL Combine, Jackson had an impressive showing, running an official 4.35 40-yard dash. He performed well in positional drills, running routes fluidly and catching passes very well displaying his well-known agility and quickness. He also posted a standing broad jump of 10 feet.
On April 26, 2008, Jackson was drafted in the second round (49th overall) of the 2008 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. He was the seventh wide receiver taken in the draft which saw for the first time ever no wide receivers drafted in the first round. On July 20, he agreed to terms on a four-year contract with the team.
Jackson had a good preseason performance, which included a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown against the New England Patriots in week 3. After the Eagles' roster was cut to its maximum 53-man limit for the season, he was listed as the starting punt returner and as a second-string wide receiver.
Due to injuries sustained by Kevin Curtis and Reggie Brown, Jackson was the first rookie to start opening day for head coach Andy Reid. On September 7, Jackson collected six catches for 106 yards in a 38–3 win over the St. Louis Rams. He also returned eight punts for a total of 97 yards, including a 60-yard punt return to set up a field goal. He had over 200 all-purpose yards, a record for a rookie wide receiver. During a Monday Night Football game against the Dallas Cowboys on September 15, Jackson celebrated prematurely before running into the end zone by flipping the football behind him at the one-yard line. This led to what would have otherwise been his first NFL touchdown to be challenged and overturned, with Brian Westbrook running in for a touchdown from the one-yard line on the next play. The Eagles lost the game to Dallas 41-37. Jackson finished the game with 110 yards on six receptions, becoming only the second receiver in NFL history to have over 100 yards receiving in each of his first two games since the Eagles' Don Looney in 1940.
On September 28, Jackson recorded his first offensive touchdown against the Chicago Bears. During this game, he also fumbled a punt return that set up the Bears' go ahead score. The following week against the Washington Redskins on October 5, Jackson returned his first punt return for a touchdown with a 68-yard return. Jackson scored his first rushing touchdown on November 9 on a direct snap in the wildcat formation with a nine-yard run against the New York Giants. A rematch against the Giants on December 7 which resulted in a 20-14 upset of the defending Super Bowl champions marked the first time in the season that Jackson did not have a reception. The following week, Jackson rebounded, recording 77 yards on five catches in a 30–10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Jackson's final touchdown of the season came in the NFC Championship game on January 18, 2009 against the Arizona Cardinals, when he managed to haul in a 62-yard touchdown. Jackson narrowly finished second to Curtis in postseason receiving yards with 207 to Curtis' 211.
Jackson finished a successful rookie season equaling and surpassing the feats of two other Eagles rookies, Keith Jackson and Don Looney. His 912 receiving yards set a new Eagles rookie record and surpassed the previous mark of 869 set by Keith Jackson in 1988. He was the first rookie to lead the team in receptions, another feat accomplished by Keith Jackson. DeSean Jackson also set the team record for receptions with 62.
In week 1 against the Carolina Panthers, Jackson had his second punt return for an 85-yard touchdown, the second longest in Eagles history. The following week Kevin Kolb threw his first career touchdown pass to Jackson against the New Orleans Saints for 71 yards. Jackson had 149 receiving yards against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 27 which included a 64-yard touchdown reception. Against the Oakland Raiders on October 17 he caught six receptions for 94 yards, including a 51-yard diving fingertips catch, in a 13–9 loss.
Jackson caught a 57-yard touchdown pass from Donovan McNabb that gave McNabb his 200th career touchdown and 30,000th career passing yards on October 26 against the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. He also scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 67-yard reverse. Jackson injured his right foot during the game and had an x-ray during halftime, but returned to play during the third quarter. He was later named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
In a week 11 matchup on Sunday Night Football against the Chicago Bears, Jackson caught eight passes for 107 yards and a touchdown as the Eagles won a close game, 24-20. On November 29 against the Redskins, Jackson had to leave the game after sustaining a concussion after a helmet-to-helmet hit by linebacker London Fletcher. Jackson recorded two receptions, including a 35-yard touchdown. Jackson missed the next game due to his concussion, but returned on December 13 against the New York Giants. Jackson had a career day, as he caught six passes for 178 yards including a 60-yard touchdown pass from McNabb and a 72 yard punt return for a touchdown (combined for 261 all purpose yards). The game would also put him at eight touchdowns of over 50 yards in a single season, tying an NFL record shared only by Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch and Devin Hester. For his performance against the Giants, Jackson was named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week.
The following week against the San Francisco 49ers, Jackson went over the 1,000-yard mark for the season with 140 receiving yards, including a 19-yard touchdown reception as the Eagles clinched a playoff berth. On December 27, he had four catches for 33 yards and a two-yard touchdown, his shortest touchdown of the season, in a win against the Denver Broncos.
Jackson was nearly shut down by the Dallas Cowboys in the regular season finale, with only two passes for 36 yards in a 24–0 rout of the Eagles. In a rematch the following week on January 3, 2010 against the Cowboys in the NFC Wild Card Game, he was held by Dallas to three catches for 14 yards, including a six-yard touchdown pass in the 34–14 loss.
Jackson ended the season as the Eagles' leading receiver with 1,167 yards. He was selected to the 2010 Pro Bowl as a starting wide receiver and a kick returner, the first time in Pro Bowl history that a player was selected at two different positions. At the Pro Bowl, Jackson caught six passes for a team-high 101 yards and two touchdowns, including a 58-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass from McNabb. He was selected to the Sporting News' All-Pro team as a punt returner for the 2009 season, averaging 15.2 yards per punt return in 2009 as the league leader.
After skipping voluntary camp in the spring, Jackson reported to training camp earlier than most veterans. However he was not speaking to the media and was said to be frustrated about how the Eagles are unwilling to negotiate a contract extension with him. Jackson was carted off the field after he suffered a back injury during the second full team workout of training camp on July 31, but the injury was not serious.
In a 35–32 victory over the Detroit Lions, Jackson had 135 receiving yards and a 45-yard catch-and-run touchdown pass. The following week against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Jackson caught a 61-yard touchdown and finished the game with five receptions for 153 yards. On October 3 and 10 however, Jackson only caught five passes for 43 total yards. He scored a pair of touchdowns on October 17 against the Atlanta Falcons, one on a 31-yard run and the second on a 34-yard reception from Kevin Kolb. During the game he sustained a severe concussion after a collision with Atlanta cornerback Dunta Robinson, with both players assisted from the field. Jackson returned to play on November 7 against the Indianapolis Colts.
On November 15, after an altercation with Laron Landry, Jackson caught a then career best 88-yard touchdown pass from Michael Vick on the first play from scrimmage while Landry was covering him in 59-28 a Monday Night Football victory against the Washington Redskins. He surpassed this on December 12 when he had a 91-yard touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys and also finished the game with a personal best 210 receiving yards. Jackson again ended the regular season as the team's leading receiver with 1,056 yards.
The Miracle at the New Meadowlands
On December 19, 2010, Jackson returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown to lead the Eagles to a win against the New York Giants in the final 14 seconds of the game. The Eagles had trailed 31-10 with under 8 minutes to play but had come back with three unanswered touchdowns. With 14 seconds left, the game was tied at 31-31 and Jackson received the punt. He fumbled at first, but then picked it up and ran 65 yards for the score, running parallel to the goal line when he reached it in order to wind out the time. This punt return is the first and only game-winning punt return on the final play from scrimmage in the history of the NFL.
On July 28, 2011, Jackson failed to report to Eagles' training camp at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania as required in his contract. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, offered no immediate explanation for his absence. Jackson faced fines of $30,000-a-day until he reported to camp. His deadline to report was August 9 or he would have lost a year of service time toward free agency. Jackson's holdout ended on August 8 when he reported to training camp. On November 13, in a game against the Arizona Cardinals, Jackson was deactivated for missing a special teams meeting. The following week in a matchup against the New York Giants, Jackson flipped the ball at New York defensive coordinator Perry Fewell after making a 50-yard reception and was flagged for taunting, drawing a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct. In a November 27 loss to the New England Patriots, he was benched for the entire fourth quarter after a performance that included drops of two potential touchdown passes. Jackson ended the season as the Eagles' leading receiver with 961 yards. He also had the lowest total punt return yards of his career with 114 and did not return a punt for a touchdown during the season.
Jackson received the Eagles' franchise tag on March 1, 2012. He was re-signed to a five-year contract worth up to $51 million on March 14. On November 27, Jackson was placed on injured reserve after fracturing his ribs in Week 12 against the Carolina Panthers.
Jackson is the son of Bill and Gayle Jackson and his oldest brother Byron is a former San Jose State wide receiver who spent two seasons on the Kansas City Chiefs' practice squad. DeSean intended to pursue a degree in social welfare at Cal. His father was hospitalized with pancreatic cancer during the Eagles run in the 2009 playoffs, and died on May 14, 2009. Jackson currently resides in Moorestown, New Jersey.
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