Edwin Jackson was honored with a posthumous degree from his alma mater, Georgia Southern University, on Saturday.
In 2011, Jackson made the Georgia Southern team after attending a tryout for walk-ons. By the time he left the program, Jackson was a two-year starter and first-team All-Sun Belt selection. He went on to play three years in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts before he was fatally struck by a drunk driver in February.
Jackson’s parents, Wesley and Mary, accepted the degree from Georgia Southern on their son’s behalf. It was an emotional moment, especially when Wesley Jackson led a “Georgia Southern” chant as he walked off the stage.
— Georgia Southern Football (@GSAthletics_FB) May 5, 2018
Jackson, 26, and Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe, 54, were killed Feb. 4 when they were hit by a pickup truck driven by 37-year-old Manuel Orrego-Savala as they stood outside of Monroe’s vehicle. Orrego-Savala has been charged with multiple felonies.
After Jackson’s death, the Georgia Southern program renamed its walk-on tryouts to the “Edwin Jackson Memorial Walk-On Tryouts.”
“In memory of Edwin Jackson and the mark that he left in so many people’s lives, we wanted to take the first step in honoring him by naming our walk-on tryouts after him,” Georgia Southern coach Chad Lunsford said. “Edwin went down the hardest path possible here at Southern to earn some unbelievable results. He went from a walk-on tryout participant, to a spot on the team, to playing time, to a starter and leader and finally, a captain and Sun Belt champion.
“He then did it all again, signing as an NFL undrafted free agent, earned a spot on an NFL roster and then regular playing time before finally earning a job as a starter. His work ethic exemplified the blue collar mentality that made him the perfect fit at Georgia Southern. Not only did he accomplish these things, but he also was an unbelievable person who demonstrated our core values. The ultimate servant leader, he affected so many lives in a positive manner. I want to give a big thank you to his family for allowing us the to honor Edwin Jackson by naming our walk-on tryouts after him.”
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