Georgia Southern head football coach Chad Lunsford announced Thursday that the walk-on tryouts for the program moving forward will be named in honor of Edwin Jackson, who died Feb. 4 in an auto accident in Indianapolis. Jackson went through the tryout process at GS to earn a spot on the team and worked his way up to eventual starter before moving on to start in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts.
"In memory of Edwin Jackson and the mark that he left in so many peoples lives, we wanted to take the first step in honoring him by naming our walk-on tryouts after him," Lunsford said. "Edwin went down the hardest path possible here at Southern to earn some unbelievable results. He went from a walk-on tryout participant, to a spot on the team, to playing time, to a starter and leader and finally, a captain and Sun Belt champion. He then did it all again, signing as an NFL undrafted free agent, earned a spot on an NFL roster and then regular playing time before finally earning a job as a starter. His work ethic exemplified the blue collar mentality that made him the perfect fit at Georgia Southern. Not only did he accomplish these things, but he also was an unbelievable person who demonstrated our core values. The ultimate servant leader, he affected so many lives in a positive manner. I want to give a big thank you to his family for allowing us the to honor Edwin Jackson by naming our walk-on tryouts after him."
As a junior in 2013, Jackson totaled a team-best 92 tackles, including a team-leading 13 stops in a 26-20 upset win against the University of Florida in The Swamp. He was voted team captain by his teammates and recorded a career-high 100 tackles as a senior in helping the Eagles win the Sun Belt Conference Championship in the school's inaugural year competing at the FBS level in 2014. He was awarded first-team All-Sun Belt honors for his performance on the field.
He was an undrafted free agent who went to the Arizona Cardinals' camp, but was one of the final cuts. He joined the Indianapolis Colts' practice squad in late 2015 and went on to start eight games at linebacker in 2016 for the Colts. He did not play this past season due to an injury.
Jackson created the Edwin Jackson 53 Foundation, which holds football clinics, fitness camps and after-school programs for disadvantaged youth, and supports student athletes who do not have scholarships.
This year's Edwin Jackson Memorial Walk-On Tryouts will be held on Feb. 27.