A conversation with Kareem Jackson

Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson met with the Jets at the combine and will visit their complex. He could make an ideal second round pick for Gang Green. As they say, you can never have enough good corners . . .

Q)Why did you decide to leave school early?

Jackson: Going into the year, I wanted to do everything possible to put myself in that situation to be able to make that decision at the end of the year. I felt like I did that as a player and I proved myself as an all-around player that can cover and tackle.

So I sat down with my family and I told them, 'That's what I want to do' and they supported me on my decision.

Q)What were Alabama coach Nick Saban's thoughts on your decision to leave school?

Jackson: I had a couple of meetings with him. He thought I should come back, but I was pretty confident in my decision and I stuck with it.

Q)What round did the Draft Advisory Board project you in?

Jackson: My draft evaluation paper said second round.

Q)How much did it benefit you going to Fork Union Military Academy out of high school?

Jackson: I was able to elevate my game (there). Coming out of high school, I played running back. So really that was my first introduction to playing cornerback. I was able to elevate my game and learn how to be physical as a corner.

Q)How much did playing for Nick Saban, who is considered a defensive back guru, help you?

Jackson: He's a DB coach and you know his defensive mind, so it helped me out a whole lot.

Q)Why did you switch from running back to cornerback?

Jackson: Originally, Vanderbilt sent me to prep school and wanted to switch me to DB. Once I got there, they moved me to DB because of Vanderbilt's decision. So that's why I ended up playing corner.

Q)Why did you decide to enroll at Alabama instead of Vanderbilt out of Fork Union?

Jackson: Vanderbilt wanted me to score higher on my test, but I was already eligible for everybody else. So I just decided that I didn't want to take the test anymore, and that's how it came out.

Q)Has playing in a 3-4 defense in college helped prepare you for the NFL?

Jackson: Yeah, I think it has. We play the NFL-type defense. It shows my mental capacity is maybe a lot stronger than some of the other players in the draft, as far as learning a defense in the 3-4. I think it'll help me out a whole lot.

Q)What is your size?

Jackson: I'm 5-10, 196.

Q)How do you think your game translates to the next level?

Jackson: I want to get better at everything I do; as far as my game, as far as my technique. But I think my physicality will help me a whole lot at the line of scrimmage. We played a lot of press-man; I think that'll help me a whole lot and be able to transfer from college to the next level.

Q)Will playing a pro defense in college help your mental adjustment?

Jackson: I don't think that'll be a problem for me. I played for Coach Saban. Our playbook is just as thick as, maybe, offensive playbooks. We put in five, six defensive plays a day. So I don't think that'll be a problem.


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