Despite not being named as semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award in late October, Jackson was named a finalist Monday for the honor, which is given to the nation’s top defensive back.
The recognition is certainly deserving. Jackson had three interceptions in Iowa’s 55-25 win over then-No. 3 Ohio State on Nov. 4, then a week later returned two interceptions for touchdowns and forced a fumble in the team’s 38-14 loss at then-No. 3 Wisconsin.
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) November 20, 2017
The junior, a first-year starter, leads the nation in interceptions (7) and is third in pass breakups (17). NFL teams have taken notice, and several draft analysts predict Jackson as a first round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, should he decide to forgo his senior season at Iowa.
Jackson looks to continue building his case in the Hawkeyes’ season finale Friday at Nebraska. Perhaps the Huskers will learn from the Buckeyes and the Badgers and not throw the ball in Jackson’s direction.