Being a rookie in the NFL is a challenge in its own right. Being a rookie that was drafted with one of the last picks in the 2020 draft is even more challenging. As Titans seventh-round pick Chris Jackson gets ready to join his teammates for his first professional training camp on July 28th, he reminisces on the four years he spent at Marshall.
Jackson is one of the best players to ever sport the Kelly Green and White, and leaves the program as one of the more decorated and accomplished defensive backs in school history.
But Jackson isn’t in Huntington, West Virginia anymore. Instead, he’s a new face on the block as he joins a defensive back room that’s rich with talent and experience.
Jackson plans to approach things in Nashville like he did back when he was an unrecognizable face at Marshall. To take every day as a chance to improve, and to earn the respect of his teammates. He’s done it once before, and he’s planning to do it again.
Jackson recently spoke with Broadway Sports about what draft weekend was like for him, which of his teammates he can’t wait to meet in person and what the Titans virtual off-season was like.
JM: You had a terrific career at Marshall. How do you look back on your time there?
CJ: Attending Marshall out of high school was a blessing for me. I spent my entire collegiate career at Marshall. I never felt the need or urge to transfer. I always knew I made the right decision. Being in that community and around those coaches, it was a great overall experience. I met so many people at Marshall that I’ll consider family for the rest of my life.
JM: What was draft weekend like for you? It can be both rewarding and exhausting at the same time.
CJ: It was all over the place. It was obviously very exciting but it was also such a busy weekend. I spent so much of the weekend answering calls from several different teams. It was a great experience for me. It was truly a blessing and an honor to hear my name called. The entire weekend leading up to it, I knew that if anything was going to happen for me, it would be on Day 3. I never ruled out the possibility that I might have gone un-drafted. The waiting game wasn’t fun, but everything else about it was great.
JM: Speaking of the waiting game, you experienced a close call. Did there come a point where you started to think you weren’t going to get drafted?
CJ: Yeah, it started to feel that way. I tried not to lose faith. My grandmother kept telling me to keep my faith. I was talking to a lot of teams during the beginning of the seventh round as if I was already un-drafted. I had multiple deals on the table before the draft was over. That’s when the Titans called me and told me that they were taking me with the 243rd pick.
JM: What was your reaction like?
CJ: It was amazing. I had spoken with a few of their coaches before.