On Monday, Jackson was one of 51 linebackers on the list for the 2012 Dick Butkus Award. The 51 candidates represent the now-retired professional jersey number of Dick Butkus, who is regarded by NFL Films as the best defensive player in football history. The selection panel is comprised of 51 coaches, evaluators and journalists, coordinated by Pro Football Weekly.
This honor comes just days after Jackson was one of 84 defensive players named to the preseason list for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
Jackson - the only Sun Belt Conference players on the list - earned first-team all-league honors in 2011 after recording 109 tackles in his first season on the field for WKU. His 9.1 tackles per game ranked third in the league, and 39th nationally. He spent most of the season as the league leader in stops before an injury limited his snaps in the final two games. The Lakeland, Fla., native led the Sun Belt with 17 tackles for loss (1.42 per game) - an average that ranked tied for 14th nationally. He was also credited with 3.5 sacks, a forced and recovered fumble, and recorded one interception. Jackson registered double-digit tackles five times, including a season-high 13 in back-to-back games against Indiana State and Arkansas State. He also posted at least one tackle for loss in 11 games, and led the Hilltoppers in stops in eight of 12 contests.
This is not the first preseason honor for Jackson this season. He has earned first-team all-Sun Belt Conference honors from both the Blue Ribbon Forecast and Phil Steele's College Football Preview. In addition, the College Football Performance Awards listed Jackson as one of the top players at his position on its preseason defensive watch list. Also on Monday, Jackson earned a spot on the official preseason all-Sun Belt Conference team announced at the league's media day in New Orleans.
- WKU -