Former MSU player running back towards NFL

Mark Campbell

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Keidrick Jackson, criminal justice alumni, is interviewed after the Texas A&M-Kingsville game October 5, 2013 at memorial stadium against Texas A&M-Kingsville. MSU won 43-10.

Keidrick Jackson, criminal justice alumni, is interviewed after the Texas A&M-Kingsville game October 5, 2013 at memorial stadium against Texas A&M-Kingsville. MSU won 43-10.

Ex-MSU running back Keidrick Jackson was picked up by the New York Jets May 11 this year, but was cut from the team after three days of practice. What seemed to be an exciting moment for MSU athletics came and went.

Jackson spent four years at MSU, becoming the all-time leading rusher with 4,004 yards and scoring a record-setting 62 touchdowns. Jackson dominated while he was a Mustang, so he said he was not surprised that he got a call after the NFL draft ended.

“I was eating with my girlfriend and got a call from my agent saying the Jets wanted to pick me up. He told me to pack my bags and get ready to be a member of the Jets,” Jackson said.

Jackson packed his things and flew out to New York where he participated in a three-day mini training camp , but things didn’t quite go as planned.

“I did bad on the first day. Things just weren’t clicking. I improved on the second and third day and the coaches said they liked what they saw. They told me to stay by my phone because they wanted to keep in touch,” Jackson said.

A few days later, officials told him he didn’t make the roster.

“It’s a bit of a shocker because I don’t think the guys who play running back for the Jets are that good. Chris Ivory is okay and [Chris] Johnson had one year, but that’s it,” Jackson said.

The New York Jets are currently ranked seventh in the NFL in rushing yards for this 2014-2015 NFL season.

Jackson was competing against two other rookie running backs, D.J. Harper (Boise State), who was an undrafted free agent for the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and Fabian Truss (Samford). Neither Harper nor Truss made the cut for the Jets.

Jackson said he doesn’t possess the skills to qualify for the NFL right now. He said his decision to play Division-II football might have had an impact on his performance.

“We’ve had great running backs come out of Midwestern State. We’ve had great quarterbacks too. If I did what I did here at a D-I school, I feel like my results would have been a little better,” Jackson said, “God works in mysterious ways, though.”

Keidrick Jackson, criminal justice alumni, stiff arms a Texas A&M-Kingsville opponent October 5, 2013 at memorial stadium against Texas A&M-Kingsville. MSU won 43-10.

Keidrick Jackson, criminal justice alumni, stiff arms a Texas A&M-Kingsville opponent October 5, 2013 at memorial stadium against Texas A&M-Kingsville. MSU won 43-10.

There are only two players in the NFL who played for Midwestern State, Amini Silatolu and Andy Turner. Silatolu starts at guard for Carolina Panthers and blocks for Cam Newton. Tanner plays wide receiver for the New Orleans Saints, but has yet to play a snap for the team.

Jackson plays for the Texas Revolution, a team in Dallas for the Indoor Football League, and is the only fullback for the team.

“I have a great chance to make it to the NFL. I just gotta continue to work hard in the IFL. My focus right now is working to take care of my family. I want to make it to the NFL,” Jackson said. Jackson said his dream is to one day play for the Dallas Cowboys.

It is not too uncommon for players to make a move from the IFL to the NFL. Some notable players to make the leap are Fred Jackson, running back for the Buffalo Bills, and Kurt Warner, former MVP quarterback of the Super Bowl XXIV champion St. Louis Rams. Terrell Owens even had a stint with the  Allen Wranglers.

Jackson’s legacy goes far beyond what he did on the field at MSU. His impact on his old teammates is what MSU football remembers him for.

“Keidrick was an all around great person. It was a good experience being able to have him my first couple of years here,” said Dante Taylor, kinesiology sophomore and running back. “The first moment stepping on Midwestern State campus he made me as well as the rest of the 2012 freshmen class feel at home. It was a great opportunity being able to play with one of the best running backs to graduate from MSU and being able to have him as a mentor and brother.”

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