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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Akeem Jackson, LB, Mary Hardin-Baylor

Akeem Jackson is a big enforcer on Mary Hardin-Baylor’s defense who’s a well-balanced LB in coverage and as a run stuffer. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Akeem Jackson
  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 240 lbs.
  • Position: LB
  • College: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor
  • Twitter: AkeemJackson15
  • Instagram: AkeemJackson03

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I’m a Physical Education Major. I’m trying to be a coach one day and always be around sports. Along with supporting all of the other team sports at UMHB, I have participated in community service whether doing local clean up projects at a thrift store or reading to kids in schools.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would say that my best quality is my positive attitude. I try and always have a smile on my face and joke with my teammates to loosen everyone up.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I’m not a very verbal guy, but I am a team leader that leads with his actions. I play Mike in a 4-3 scheme. I have the style of a balanced LB that’s a solid run stopper that can cover ground. I’ve also played on almost every special teams unit. Our coach wants to have the best players on the field at all times, and I’m very used to my role on special teams as well.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
My sophomore year, I played against St. Johns. Their QB Jackson Erdmann is one of the toughest players I ever played against. Even after he got hurt, he was still throwing the ball better than most people.

I played against Quinn Meinerz of UW-Whitewater who was recently drafted by the Broncos. He was something different. He moved level to level, always getting his blocks.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Jefferson Fritz is one of the most impressive players on our team. We played against each other in high school and came in together. I’ve watched him grow so much into the All-American player that he is today. He’s a good leader who remains positive and always strives to be better.

KJ Miller is a great slot receiver on our team. He is so shifty and maneuvers so well with the ball in his hands. He’s got so much speed and is hard to tackle.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
In 2019, we were playing against Texas Lutheran. Their QB threw the ball across my body, and as I was making a play towards the ball, my foot popped. I tried to stand up, but fell back down. I had a Lisfranc injury in my left foot. This was towards the end of the season, and I wasn’t able to play in the playoffs. I had surgery the following week and was in a splint for a while. I stuck out like a sore thumb while riding around on a scooter.

Being injured and not being able to play is no fun. Yet, it showed me that your career can be gone in an instant and not to take anything for granted. It helped me grow mentally. It taught me never to give up and to keep pushing because there are bigger things ahead of you in your future.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I participated in track & field in high school doing several events. I was okay in the high jump, jumping 6 feet. Although, I would probably play basketball. I just love the game, and I’ve been playing ever since I was little. Basketball was actually my main sport as a sophomore in high school, but I knew that I had more opportunities to play football moving forward.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m very proud of going to college. I will be the first in my family to get a college degree.

As far as football, I am a 2-time First Team All-Conference player. Our team won the National Championship in 2018, and I plan to make it there once again this fall.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
We were playing East Texas Baptist in 2019, and I remember before the play when the trainers took me aside and thought that I might have a concussion. I guess they thought something was wrong because I hadn’t made a big play yet. Well, the very next play, the ball was tipped and I got an interception taking it all the way for 73 yards for the score. I ended up having one of my best games ever with 2 Ints, 10 tackles and a forced fumble. I guess I was pretty healthy for that game.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite athlete of all-time is Ray Lewis. In today’s game, I try to model my game after Fred Warner of the 49ers. He seems to always find his way to the ball. He’s the type of well-balanced LB that I try to be.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
Rod Wave is my favorite music artist. I also listen to Lil Loaded who was a rapper from Dallas. Before games, I like to listen to anything of Rod Wave’s.

What is your favorite comfort food?
My sister makes some great nachos. That’s one of my favorite foods.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
My favorite movie is Waterboy. It’s funny and I love watching the intensity of how he plays football. One of my favorite TV shows is Martin. Martin Lawrence is one of my favorite actors.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
If I’m not working out and doing football stuff, I’m probably hanging out with my girlfriend Sarah or watching TV.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
I play for my family. They have supported me all the way since day one. Hopefully one day, I’ll be able to help them get out of the small area that we live in. My mom, sister and girlfriend are my biggest supporters, coming to every game and helping me stay focused.

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