Posted on April 30, 2018
El Dorado's Jackson signs with Chargers
By Tony Burns
The world is spinning pretty fast for El Dorado native Bijhon Jackson these days. As a senior defensive tackle at the University of Arkansas, he proposed to his girlfriend after his final game in Fayetteville. She said yes. Saturday night, he said yes when he signed as a free agent to play in the National Football League with the Los Angeles Chargers.
"I'm super excited, man. I'm super excited," Jackson said Sunday. "It's exciting. Honestly, I might be more excited about just being out of Arkansas. I mean, I didn't realize until recently how much of my life I've spent in Arkansas. Los Angeles is a big city. Man, I hope I don't go into a culture shock."
Jackson, listed as 6-foot-1 and 339 pounds, recorded 19 tackles for the Razorbacks last season with one sack. He was one of 21 free agents signed by the Chargers when the NFL collegiate draft concluded Saturday.
Jackson said he wasn't expecting to get the call from the Chargers.
"No, they surprised me. That was one of the teams I hadn't really heard anything from since the Pro Day. That was definitely a surprise to me," he said. Jackson will join tight end Hunter Henry and defensive tackle Darius Philon as former Hogs on the Chargers' depth chart.
"The defensive tackle depth is not too deep, actually," he said. "I think they drafted one guy in the third round. I think they had four other defensive tackles on the roster so it's not too deep. I feel pretty confident that I'll actually make the game roster."
Los Angeles drafted North Carolina State's Justin Jones in the third round. In addition to Jackson, the Chargers also signed Minnesota defensive lineman Steven Richardson as a free agent.
Jackson said he hadn't been given a date to report, yet. He's not sure what to expect when he gets to Los Angeles.
"I'm not sure, yet. I have talked to a couple of the guys, a couple of the younger (graduate assistants) that have gone through this process that are up at Arkansas now. I've talked to them. They gave me a few pointers," he said. "I'll probably go up there (today) and work out and I'll probably run into a few coaches. Maybe they'll give me some pointers on what to do and what not to do to impress the coaches."
A plugger and run stuffer, Jackson's collegiate career was filled with adjustments as the scheme shifted from a 4-3 to 3-4, which changed his assignments. He said he didn't expect to be selected in the draft.
"I never put too much stock into being drafted," he said. "Some teams had been calling me the weeks before the draft and told me they were interested. Some of them said they might be interested in drafting me. But, I never put too much stock in that. I was pretty much certain it was going to come down to free agency. And, I was fine with that as long as I got my shot. I'm excited either way.
"I'm just excited for the opportunity."