He played collegiately for the Louisiana–Monroe Warhawks of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. As a sophomore in 2007, Jackson was named to the second team all-Sun Belt Conference team after finishing the season with 79 tackles. In 2008, Jackson made 127 tackles in 12 games, which was good enough for 8th in the NCAA in tackles per game. He also had two interceptions in 2008. Following the 2009 season, Jackson was named the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league with 117 tackles. Jackson became the conference's all-time leader in total tackles in week 10 against Western Kentucky.