“There is no fair in life and death, if it were, no good men would die young.”
Eagle Nation received sobering news on Super Bowl Sunday when it learned that Georgia Southern great/Colts Linebacker Edwin Jackson had been killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. The accident happened shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday morning on I-70 West outside on Indianapolis. Jackson, along with 54-year old Jeffery Monroe of Avon, IN, were standing near a stopped vehicle on the side of the Interstate when they were struck by a black Ford F-150. Jackson was only 26-years old.
The Indianapolis Colts and Georgia Southern University were quick to put out statements about the tragedy.
Joint statement from Colts Players:
“We were heartbroken to hear the news of Edwin Jackson’s passing. Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization. We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hard-working mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization. We also understand that another person lost his life in the accident, only adding to our sorrow on this day. We are shocked and saddened by this tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers are with the families of both men during this difficult time.”
“To learn of the news of the untimely passing of a former Eagle causes great sadness and hurt. Edwin Jackson represented not only Georgia Southern but also how a young man should live his life. He earned everything that he was given and has left this world way too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends, loved ones and teammates. He will be missed.”
“We are heartbroken by the sudden passing of Edwin Jackson. Edwin exemplified the qualities of a Georgia Southern student-athlete and he will be missed dearly. He was a beloved Eagle who had an infectious personality, was hard working and worked for everything he earned. All of Eagle Nation is shocked and saddened right now, and our thoughts and prayers are with Edwin’s family during this difficult time.”
To say Edwin “Pound Cake” Jackson was a fan favorite among the Eagle faithful is an understatement. Jackson was the walking embodiment of the “Runts try harder” ethos that Erk Russell created in Statesboro. Undersized and overlooked, he arrived on campus in 2011 as a walk-on from Westlake High School in Atlanta; he left as one of the best middle linebackers to ever take a dip in Beautiful Eagle Creek.
After mostly playing on special teams his freshman and sophomore years, Jackson was awarded the starting MLB as a junior in 2013. He ended up with 92 tackles and 2.0 sacks that year, including the ten tackles he got in the historic 26-20 win over Florida in 2013. He was voted team captain by his teammates at the start of the 2014 season and recorded 100 tackles. He was selected First-Team All-Sun Belt and led Georgia Southern to a Sun Belt Conference Championship in its first year in FBS.
Edwin Jackson earned his “Pound Cake” nickname during his rookie training camp with the Arizona Cardinals. The legend goes that Jackson missed his flight from Atlanta to Phoenix for a pre-draft workout. In a state of panic, he called his mother, Mary Ellen Powell Jackson, and she told him to call the Cardinals coaches back. But he knew he couldn’t show up late empty-handed, so he came up with a plan and his mother started cooking.
Edwin’s mother made a fresh batch of her now famous pound cake and brought it to the airport. If you were raised in the South, you surely understand the impulse to resolve conflicts with food, Jackson was no different. He walked into his first meeting with the Cardinals, and predictably they gave him a hard time about being late, the fine was $50. That’s when Jackson pulled out his mother’s pound cake and handed out to GM Steve Keim, defensive coordinator James Bettcher, LB coach Larry Foote, and special teams coordinator Amos Jones.
It was Jones that gave him the nickname. Once the coaches took a bite of the pound cake, they forgot all about Jackson’s tardiness. It was so good that he made his mother make a second batch during mini-camp that May. The nickname stuck.
After missing the cut with the Arizona Cardinals, Jackson was picked up by the Indianapolis Colts and placed on the practice squad. In 2016, he had his best season as a professional, he started 8 of 16 games and recorded 66 tackles. Edwin spent the 2017 season on injured reserve.
But it was not just his play on the field that stood out. Jackson left a legacy off-the-field as well. He was nominated in 2014 for the Allstate Good Works Team for his volunteer work at a local elementary school and for hosting a football clinic for children in Costa Rica. He was also nominated for the Danny Wuerffel Award which acknowledges players who show exemplary community service along with academic and athletic excellence.
That’s how Edwin Jackson lived his life. He was the walking embodiment of what it means to be a Georgia Southern Eagle. Jackson strived for excellence in anything that he attempted. His positive attitude was contagious; he uplifted nearly everybody he met. Sadly, he is gone from us way too young, in a senseless tragedy. Another Eagle gets his wings today.