INDIANAPOLIS – He’s got a president’s name and the body type of a secret service member.
Maybe one day
According to Jackson, the Colts are getting an “old school” linebacker that has an affinity for routinely throwing his 255-pound body into the run game ruckus.
“Andrew is your prototypical middle backer, no doubt,” Nick Holt, Jackson’s college defensive coordinator, says.
“He’s big, physical, likes to take on guards, can take on guards by himself and thump those guys to secure his gaps inside. He can play over offensive linemen and stuff those guys in the hole.”
That makeup drew the Colts to Jackson back in 2013.
When Western Kentucky had a coaching change following the 2012 season, Jackson inquired about the NFL and the Colts began to do their homework on a potential inside linebacker fit to their 3-4 scheme.
“You just mention his name to anybody and they know he likes to hit,” Colts GM Ryan Grigson says of Jackson.
“He’s very physical and he’s all about business on the football field. Even two years ago at first glance you look at him and say, ‘This is what we’re looking for.’ You need to have some size in there, especially in our division and how this league is especially late in the year you know you’ve got to stop the run. He’s tailor-made to stop the run. Very quick, quicker than fast type guy but he’s cat-quick in a short area and plays a lot faster than he timed.”
Jackson hails from Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Florida, the same school that produced future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.
In terms of finding the ideal mold for a 3-4 linebacker, Lewis is atop the list and now Jackson is trying to make that move at the professional level.
At WKU, Jackson was normally the lone middle linebacker in the Hilltoppers 4-3 scheme but Holt doesn’t see any problem with his “emotional leader” thriving in a 3-4 defense.
“Andrew is a very smart football player naturally. He picks up concepts and I think he will transition well. He’s very explosive between the tackles, very sudden,” Holt says.
“Being around a good (linebacker) room that Indianapolis has, I think Andrew will flourish. That’s a great place for him to go and take Andrew to the next level.”
Jackson comes to the Colts after 326 tackles (43 tackles for loss) in 37 career games at WKU.
When Jackson hears that Grigson calls him a “thumper” the new Colts linebacker develops a wide grin.
He loves that label, and now Jackson wants to take his own game to the next level.
“I’m a big body that can help with the run,” Jackson says of his main strength.
“What I’m really here to show people is that I can play all four downs and I’m not just a two-down linebacker. That’s the biggest thing I want to show.”
ICYMI: Yesterday Colts.com took a closer look at the long-term plan for