Eddie Jackson has earned every good thing that has come his way as an Alabama football player. He was thrown into the fire as a part-time starting cornerback as a freshman in 2013, suffered a knee injury prior to the 2014 season but made it back to be the cornerback starter, and last year was moved to safety, where he was most valuable defensive player in the Crimson Tide’s national championship game win over Clemson.
He was named to the Bednarik Award watch list as one of the outstanding defensive players in the nation for the upcoming season and also is listed as the nation’s number one safety going into 2016.
He was All-Southeastern Conference last year and also received All-America recognition as he intercepted six passes and returned two for touchdowns. Jackson accumulated 230 return yards on his interceptions, shattering the previous all-time Bama record of 163 that was set in 1952 by Hootie Ingram. He led the SEC and was seventh in the nation in interceptions.
There are a number of top safeties in the SEC. Alabama isn’t scheduled to play Florida, but the Gators feature senior Marcus Maye, who ranks second to Jackson among the best safeties in the nation. Georgia has junior Dominick Sanders.
Alabama will face LSU and Jamal Adams, Donovan Wilson of Texas A&M, and Jonathan Ford of Auburn.
Out of conference, it may be a bit of a surprise but one of the top safeties in the nation is Nate Holley of Kent State.