Here are five things to know about the Chargers' new cornerback, J.C. Jackson.
Former 7-on-7 teammate with Derwin James
Jackson, a Florida native, has known his new teammate and Chargers safety Derwin James since high school as the pair played 7-on-7 football together in the Sunshine State.
Jackson explained that reuniting with James at the Pro Bowl - the first honor of the cornerback's career - was one of the main reasons why he decided to sign with the Chargers this offseason.
"It's crazy how it all comes back around in a circle," Jackson said. "We knew each other back then, and now we get to play with each other? I doesn't get any better than that."
Other ties on the Bolts
Along with knowing James, Jackson has ties to some of the Chargers coaches as well.
Chargers wide receivers coach Chris Beatty was at Maryland in the same role while Jackson played for the Terps. Additionally, Chargers defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill and secondary coach Derrick Ansley attempted to recruit him in high school.
"Being able to come to a new team and see familiar faces, it just makes you feel more comfortable," Jackson said.
From undrafted to "Mr. INT"
While Jackson went undrafted out of Maryland, he signed with the New England Patriots in 2018 and went on to lead the league in interceptions over the last three seasons.
The record 25 picks has earned him the nickname, "Mr. INT."
Regarding his path to the league, Jackson said, "[It was] a lot of hard work and dedication to get to this point. I'd do it all over again if I had to. I love the challenges. I love doing what I do. I'd do it all over again if I had to."
Two-way star in high school
Jackson started as a wide receiver and corner for Immokalee High School in South Florida where he worked his way to becoming a four-star recruit for the class of 2014. He was also ranked the 20th best wide receiver by 247Sports.
Jackson said he attributes his "ball skills" as a cornerback in the NFL to playing wide receiver in high school.
"I just always had the ball in my hands," Jackson said of his pass catching abilities. "I would always throw the ball to myself or have somebody throw me the football. I guess that's how it all started."
Building a legacy for his kids
Family is important to Jackson as his Instagram bio reads, "my kids who I do it for," in all caps.
Jackson's newborn daughter is already linked to football as she was born during the second quarter of the Patriots game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in October 2021. His son, J.C. Jackson Jr., was on hand when his dad signed his contract with the Bolts.
Jackson also has spent time giving back to children in his hometown community by hosting a toy-drive for children in need.
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