After seven years with the NFL, Tyson Jackson is about to play in the Superbowl.
Jackson is 30 years old, born in June 1986; he is 6’4″ and weighs in at 296 pounds, and he plays defensive tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. Before the Falcons, Jackson was signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Here’s what you need to know about Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle Tyson Jackson.
1. He Attended West St. John High School & Was a Two-Way Lineman
Tyson Jackson was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1986, and he attended West St. John High School in Edgard, Louisiana. In 2003, the West St. John High School football team went 14-1 and won the Class 2A state championship, according to The Times-Picayune. The team also won the 2007 national championship.
The team’s former coach, Laury Dupont, told The Times-Picayune that that year’s team in particular was quite special.
“That class of 2003-2004 was just exceptional, talent-wise,” he said. “We had, like, 13 kids sign in just two years. For a small school like us, that speaks volumes.”
Quinn Johnson was one of Tyson Jackson’s teammates that year; he was drafted to the Green Bay Packers the same year that Tyson Jackson was drafted to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Tyson Jackson finished his time with West St. John High School with 122 tackles. In addition to football, Jackson also played basketball and ran track in high school.
2. He Played on the LSU Tigers
After graduating from West St. John High School, Tyson Jackson attended Louisiana State University.
According to LSU Sports, during his freshman year, Jackson was given a spot on the Freshman All-SEC team, and he recorded 13 tackles and two sacks.
In his sophomore year, Jackson played defensive for the Tigers, starting 12 out of 13 games at left end and recording 37 tackles and 8.5 sacks.
In his junior year, Jackson started all 14 games on the left defensive end, and LSU sports describes the result of his efforts with Glenn Dorsey as “one of the most intimidating defensive fronts in college football during the 2007 season.” He recorded 36 tackles, including 3.5 sacks.
Finally, in his senior year, Jackson started all 13 Tigers games and recorded 36 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
3. He Was Drafted to the Kansas City Chiefs in 2009
During the 2009 NFL draft, Jackson was drafted to the Kansas City Chiefs as the third overall pick.
ESPN reported at the time that Jackson’s contract with the Kansas City Chiefs was valued at $57 million over five years. Jackson joined the team the year after they set the NFL record for fewest sacks in a season. In 2013, Jackson took a $10 million pay cut in a restructured contract, with his base salary shrinking from $14 million per year to $4.2 million per year, according to the USA Today.
During the 2009 season, Jackson finished with 38 combined tackles, including 27 total tackles and 11 assisted tackles. During the 2010 season, he finished with 31 combined tackles, including 19 total tackles and 12 assisted tackles. During the 2011 season, he finished with a career-high of 55 combined tackles, including 37 total tackles and 18 assisted tackles. During the 2012 season, he finished with 43 combined tackles, including 31 total tackles and 12 assisted tackles. Finally, during the 2013 season, he finished with 34 combined tackles, including 25 total tackles and 9 assisted tackles.
Jackson said in a recent interview with The Kansas City Star that he did not feel pressure to live up to the lofty expectations that come with being a number three pick.
4. He Signed With the Atlanta Falcons in 2014
After five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, Jackson signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 2014. According to ESPN, he signed a five-year, $25 million contract which includes $11 million guaranteed.
According to ESPN, during the 2014 season, Jackson finished with 22 combined tackles, including nine total tackles and 13 assisted tackles. During the 2015 season, Jackson finished with 31 combined tackles, including 14 total tackles and 17 assisted tackles.
And during the 2016 main season, Jackson recorded 13 combined tackles, including five total tackles and eight assisted tackles.
Jackson will be a free agent in 2019.
5. His Cousin is Dillon Gordon of the Philadelphia Eagles
Tyson Jackson is not the only NFL player in his family. His cousin is Dillon Gordon, an offensive guard for the Philadelphia Eagles. And Gordon’s cousin is Quinn Johnson, a fullback for the Green Bay Packers.
Gordon is eight years younger than Jackson and Johnson, and so he says that he grew up watching his cousins play and was inspired by them. He was also encouraged to follow in Jackson’s footsteps and attend LSU.
“My family is full of big, diehard LSU fans. I always knew this was where I would come growing up,” Gordon told LSU Sports.