Willie Jackson (American football)
|No. 80, 88, 83|
|Date of birth:||August 16, 1971|
|Place of birth:||Gainesville, Florida|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||212 lb (96 kg)|
|High school:||Gainesville (FL) P.K. Yonge|
|NFL draft:||1994 / Round: 4 / Pick: 109|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Stats at NFL.com|
|Stats at pro-football-reference.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.
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. 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. Memorably, he had 148 receiving yards against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1992 Sugar Bowl and 130 yards against the West Virginia Mountaineers in the 1993 Sugar Bowl. 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. He also earned varsity letters playing for the Florida Gators men's basketball team in 1990 and 1991.
The Dallas Cowboys selected him in the fourth round (109th pick overall) of the 1994 NFL Draft. 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.
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. He was waived on August 30, 1998.
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.
Jackson finished his eight-season NFL career with 284 receptions for 3,641 yards and twenty-four touchdowns.
Gator football family
Jackson's younger brother, Terry Jackson, was a tailback for the Gators from 1995 to 1998, and played running back and special teams for the San Francisco 49ers from 1999 to 2005. His father, Willie Jackson, Sr., led the Gators in all-purpose yards and kick-off returns in the early 1970s, and was one of the team's first two African-American players at the University of Florida. All three Jacksons wore jersey No. 22 for the Gators.
- Florida Gators football, 1990–99
- List of Dallas Cowboys players
- List of Florida Gators football players in the NFL
- List of New Orleans Saints players
- List of University of Florida alumni
- List of Washington Redskins players
- Pro-Football-Reference.com, Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- databaseFootball.com, Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- 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.
- F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
- "Nine Members Inducted Into University of Florida Athletics Hall of Fame," GatorZone.com (April 11, 2008). Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1994 National Football League Draft. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- "Leaving the Shadows For a Moment in the Sun," The New York Times (January 5, 2001). Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- National Football League, Historical Players, Willie Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (August 31, 1998). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (September 11, 1998). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (July 13, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (October 29, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (December 13, 2002). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- "Transactions," The New York Times (August 18, 2004). Retrieved April 4, 2014.
- Noel Nash, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois, pp. 59–65 (1998).
- National Football League, Historical Players, Terry Jackson. Retrieved June 4, 2010.
- 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.