Considered a “deep threat” in the Eagles offense, Jackson is looking to make up for a less than satisfactory past season next year and is looking forward to making the Eagles a top contender for next year’s Super Bowl. But as he heals during the off-season, the 26-year-old NFL player isn’t just going to work on improving his on-the-field skills, as he also looks to up the ante on his car game and further develop his musical interests.
We caught up with So. Cal native, All-American player while at Berkeley and two-time Pro Bowl attendee to talk about his love for the game, his new custom 2013 Bentley Continental GT from the DUB Garage and his burgeoning music career.
Where does your love for football begin?
Since I was young, I’ve had a love for the game of football. My father and brothers were involved with football growing up and they inspired me to get involved, too.
I just got out there and work as hard as possible to help the team.You were also heavily into baseball. What made you choose a career in football?
I just had more love for the game of football than I did for baseball. I really appreciate and value the opportunity to compete at a high level every time I’m on the field.
What was the journey like to the pros?
I’ll admit it’s a lot of fun, but it is equally just as tough. It takes a lot of hard work to make it to this level.
How different is college from the pros?
College is much different than the pros. I’d say the most significant differences are the speed of the game and the size of the athletes. Also, the intensity is much higher because everyone is out there to feed their families. But it was a pretty smooth transition. I came in knowing that I was going to have to work hard, and I did just that. I worked hard enough to earn a starting spot in my rookie season.
You had the choice between a full ride to USC or Berkeley and waited for the deadline to choose. Why not go to such an esteemed program like USC’s?
I felt that it was time for me to move away from home and face the world on my own. I think attending USC wouldn’t have really taken me out of my comfort zone. Plus I kind of liked the idea of playing against USC.
Being a So. Cal kid, from L.A. to going to school up north, what was moving to the East Coast like to play for the Eagles?
The adjustment to the weather was the hardest part, but this city shows a lot of love so that makes it really easy to forget about the weather. But I do miss the California sun, and I don’t like being so far from home. I love the cheesesteaks, though!
What was draft day like for you?
It was really exciting. I thought I was going to go in the first round, but I slipped down to 2nd. I was still so excited to have accomplished a dream that I’ve had since I was younger.
You’ve been in the league for a few years. Many say your rookie year was your best thus far. Do you think this?
No, not at all. I don’t pay much attention to stats; I just got out there and work as hard as possible to help the team.
How would you define this past 2012-2013 season for you?
Last year was one of the toughest for the team in a while. We’re looking to change it up next season and make it to the Super Bowl and win.
What do you know you already have to work on for next year?
Everything. I want my game to be stronger across the board. I don’t ever feel like a player should feel content. Once that happens, you will see that player start to fall off their game. There is always something that you can work on.
So other than football, you’re concentrating on your car game. What made you want to get the Bentley?
Growing up, my dad always dreamt about getting a Bentley and it was always my favorite car. I remember thinking when I was little that one day I would buy one for him. My dad passed away in 2009, so I decided I wanted to get one in memory of my pops.
Why did you want to customize it even more given it’s already such a beautiful car?
The Bentley is an amazing car on its own, but I wanted to personalize it to fit my style and my personality. I knew I definitely wanted rims, a sound system, and tinted windows. Everything else I left up to the DUB Garage team. I was really impressed when I first saw it all done up. My first thought was that it was clean…crazy clean. I really like the paint job. The matte black against the gloss white looks incredible.
What other cars do you have?
I have a Denali, a Challenger, and a Charger. They all have custom wheels and systems, but nothing like what DUB did to my Bentley. My Bentley is definitely my favorite because it’s such a smooth ride and it makes me think of my pops.
What do you have your eye on next?
I’m looking to pick up a Range Rover, truck or Ferrari. But my dream garage would definitely include a Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ferrari and a Lamborghini.
Besides football, you’re also working on a side project with your label Jaccpot Records. How did this happen?
Growing up I loved music. I used it to focus and keep me out of trouble. When I have a passion for something, like I do with music and football, I go after it…plain and simple.
What have your learned thus far?
It’s definitely cut throat, that’s for sure. But the game is open right now, especially out in the West Coast. My team and I are coming out with some different swag. A different sound that can do some damage to the game ’cause we’re bringing the heat.
What type of music do you want to make?
Right now we are producing hip-hop. That’s where my passions lie. The key to success in the music game is to stay relevant. I’m really venturing into something I’ve never done before. But we’re making real music and talking about our lives and reality. Look out for some hot stuff real soon!
Who, in your opinion, is hot right now?
2 Chainz, Meek Mill, Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy and T.I.
Will you ever leave football for music?
No, football is my first love.
What type of artists are you working with?
I put together some talented artists that I grew up with and some I met in Philly. Giving them an opportunity to be heard through their music. They are a talented group of rappers and writers.
Do you rap yourself?
Yep. I’ll go ahead and say it, I’ve got nice skills. I say my sound is like an Eazy-E sound.
What would you like to achieve with your music career?
I’d like to have a record label that consistently produces legitimately great music.