#40 | Bessemer, AL |6022 | 240 | 4.73E | 2018
An undersized, thick-framed player who possesses an explosive first step and is in the backfield so frequently, he ought to be paying rent. Jackson utilizes his quickness and strong hand jab to work around opposing tackles. He demonstrates the ability to handle the chip blocks and his hand combat continues to improve. Jackson is used to starting from a two-point stance and does drop back in coverage on occasion, so if he is asked to convert to outside linebacker at the next level it won’t be foreign to him. He finished his Gamecocks career with 283 career tackles, including 40 tackles for loss and 27.5 sacks and could have had eve more if he didn’t get too anxious to make the sack. Jackson let a few easy sacks slip through his hands due to, too much momentum. He needs to get a better grasp for his body control but this is also a product of having a high motor, which is not necessarily a bad thing. The two-time OVC Defensive Player of The Year is a fiery player who is constantly hyping up teammates and the fact that he is a distant relative to Bo Jackson can only bode well for his draft stock. You can expect to hear Jackson’s name called early on day three of the NFL Draft. Next:
2016 (Jr.): Saw action in 12 games, starting 11 as a redshirt junior…earned OVC Defensive Player of the Year honors after being selected to win the award in the preseason…named to the HERO Sports FCS All-American second team…predicted as a second-team STATS FCS All-American…chosen as a first-team Walter Camp FCS All-America…picked up first-team AP FCS All-American honors…selected to AFCA All-America Second Team by FCS coaches…named to the All-OVC First Team…school’s career sacks leader with 20.5…school’s career leader in tackles for loss with 40.0…led the OVC in sacks and tackles for loss with 10 and 15.5, respectively…led the OVC and ranked 16th nationally in sacks per game with 0.83…led a Gamecock defense that ranked fourth nationally in total defense, fifth in rushing defense and seventh in scoring defense…earned OVC Defensive Player of the Week honors once…finished the year with 48 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks…recorded lone interception against UT Martin on Nov. 19…forced a fumble at LSU on Sept. 10…recovered a fumble against Coastal Carolina on Sept. 17 and Austin Peay on Oct. 15…credited with a team-high 13 quarterback hurries…his 10 sacks were 5.5 more than the next JSU defender…his 15.5 tackles for a loss were 4.0 more than the next JSU defender…recorded multi-tackle performances in the season’s last 11-straight games…had at least 0.5 tackles for loss in 10 games…recorded at least 0.5 sacks in seven games…had a season-high seven tackles against Eastern Illinois on Oct. 29.
2015 (So.): Appeared in 14 games, starting 11 at the defensive end position as a redshirt sophomore…finished the season with 56 tackles, including a season-high eight tackles against FBS foe Auburn and Charleston Southern…had four or more tackles in seven of his 14 games…was second on the team in sacks with 7.0, recorded 1.5 sacks twice…tied for the team-lead with 19.0 tackles for loss, including a season-high three against Chattanooga in the season opener…record 2.0 or more tackles for loss in five different games…forced a fumble against SHSU in the FCS Playoffs…earned second-team All-OVC honors as a result of his body of work over the season.
2014 (Fr.): Played in all 12 games as a redshirt freshman for the Gamecocks…picked up 24 tackles, 15 solo and 5.5 for a loss…had 3.5 sacks, which was tied for second on the team, for a total loss of 23 yards, one interception, two quarterback hurries and a fumble recovery…his interception came in the fourth quarter of the Eastern Illinois game on Nov. 15, one he returned 27 yards for a score that turned a three-point game into a 27-17 JSU lead…had four tackles three times, including in back-to-back weeks on Oct. 25 vs. Tennessee Tech and Nov. 1 vs. Austin Peay, games that also saw him record 1.5 sacks…also recovered a fumble in the Tennessee Tech game.
2013: Sat out the season as a redshirt.
High School: Played for head coach David Powell at McAdory High School in McCalla, Ala…was an All-State selection as a senior after helping the Yellow Jackets to a 14-1 record and to the AHSAA Class 5A State Championship Game…led the team with 142 tackles and eight tackles for a loss…had his best game against Wenonah, when he recorded 15 tackles, intercepted two passes and notched two pass break-ups in a 13-0 win.
Personal: Name is Darius Marquel Jackson…born on Nov. 20, 1994, in Birmingham, Ala…son of Trey Dezmond and Bernice Jackson…has a brother, Jamal Jackson, and two stepbrothers, Albert and Alex Price…majoring in industrial leadership technology at JSU.