Willie Jackson (American football)

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Willie Jackson
No. 80, 88, 83
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1971-08-16) August 16, 1971 (age 42)
Place of birth: Gainesville, Florida
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) Weight: 212 lb (96 kg)
Career information
High school: P.K. Yonge High School
Gainesville, Florida
College: University of Florida
NFL Draft: 1994 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109
Debuted in 1994 for the Dallas Cowboys
Last played in 2002 for the Washington Redskins
Career history
*Inactive and/or offseason member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of 2002
Games played 113
Games started 39
Receptions 284
Receiving yards 3,641
Touchdowns 24
Stats at NFL.com
Stats at pro-football-reference.com
Stats at DatabaseFootball.com

Willie Bernard Jackson, Jr. (born August 16, 1971) is an American former college and professional football player who was a wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) for eight seasons during the 1990s and 2000s. Jackson played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Washington Redskins of the NFL.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Gainesville, Florida in 1971.[1] He attended P.K. Yonge High School in Gainesville,[2] where he was standout high school football player for the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave.

College career[edit]

Jackson accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he played for coach Steve Spurrier's Florida Gators football team from 1990 to 1993.[3] Jackson led the team in receiving in 1991 and 1992, and was a first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection in 1992, and an honorable mention All-American in 1991, 1992 and 1993.[3] Memorably, he had 148 receiving yards against the Notre Dame in the 1992 Sugar Bowl and 130 yards against the West Virginia mountaineers in the 1993 Sugar Bowl.[3] He finished his four-season college career with 162 receptions for 2,172 yard and twenty-four touchdowns—still fifth on the Gators' all-time receiving yardage list.[3] He also earned varsity letters playing for the Florida Gators men's basketball team in 1990 and 1991.

Jackson graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications in 1993, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 2008.[4][5]

Professional career[edit]

The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the fourth round (109th pick overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft.[6] After being inactive during all of the 1994 season, he asked the team to leave him unprotected in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, so he could get an opportunity to play in another place and not be a reserve behind Michael Irvin.[7]

In 1995, the NFL's two new expansion teams, the Carolina Panthers and the Jacksonville Jaguars, participated in the 1995 NFL Expansion Draft, an opportunity to pick available players from the rosters of the existing NFL teams. The Jaguars picked Jackson from the Cowboys' unprotected list as the twenty-first overall pick in the expansion draft, and he played for the Jaguars for the following three seasons from 1995 to 1997, compiling 103 catches for 1,281 yards and ten touchdowns.[8] He was waived on August 30, 1998.[9]

Jackson signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on September 10, 1998.[10] He played two seasons from 1998 to 1999, but he saw little action and diminished production.[8]

On April 2, 2000, he signed as a free agent with the New Orleans Saints. Arguably his best two-year stint followed from 2000 to 2001, peaking with his best professional year in 2001—eighty-one catches for 1,046 yards and five touchdowns in sixteen starts.[8]

On July 12, 2002, he signed with the Atlanta Falcons taking the place of the previously released Jeff Graham.[11] He saw little playing time and was waived on October 28, 2002.[12]

On October 31, 2002, he signed with the Washington Redskins, reuniting with his former college coach, Steve Spurrier, then head coach of the team. He was cut on December 12, 2002.[13]

On March 12, 2004, he signed with the Denver Broncos and was released before the season started on August 17, 2004.[14]

Jackson finished his eight-season NFL career with 284 receptions for 3,641 yards and twenty-four touchdowns.[2]

Gator football family[edit]

Jackson's younger brother, Terry Jackson, was a tailback for the Gators from 1995 to 1998,[15] and played running back and special teams for the San Francisco 49ers from 1999 to 2005.[16] His father, Willie Jackson, Sr., led the Gators in all-purpose yards and kick-off returns in the early 1970s,[3] and was one of the team's first two African-American players at the University of Florida.[15] All three Jacksons wore jersey No. 22 for the Gators.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  2. ^ a b databaseFootball.com, Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 85, 88, 97, 143–145, 148, 159, 162, 182 (2011). Retrieved August 30, 2011.
  4. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  5. ^ "Nine Members Inducted Into University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame," GatorZone.com (April 11, 2008). Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1994 National Football League Draft. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Leaving the Shadows For a Moment in the Sun," The New York Times (January 5, 2001). Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c National Football League, Historical Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
  9. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (August 31, 1998). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  10. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (September 11, 1998). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  11. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (July 13, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  12. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (October 29, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (December 13, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  14. ^ "Transactions," The New York Times (August 18, 2004). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Noel Nash, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois, pp. 59–65 (1998).
  16. ^ National Football League, Historical Players, Terry Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.